In the pot swirl technique

Difficulty: Intermediate

This is one of the easiest way to produce coloured swirls in soaps and a great technique to get started into swirling soap. The best effect is created with two colours, but you can use more colours, as I did in this tutorial.

I had a lot of pre-mixed colourants left over from my colour tests with the soap pigments, which I wanted to use, rather than throw out. I used the three base colours red, yellow and blue, and left a portion of the soap white, to which I added titanium dioxide, to make the white stand out from the rainbow. The pigment I used are granulated soap pigments from Pure Nature.

If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.

Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post. Cold process soap making requires the handling of caustic soda!

ONE: First, prepare your soap. Choose a recipe that will trace slowly, so you can work with it. I used the recipe from the basic cold process soap tutorial. Follow the steps until you reach a thin trace (still very fluid).

TWO: Next, divide up the soap into as many containers or jugs as you have colours. I am using three colours, plus white), so I’m pouring about a quarter of the soap into each jug. Then add the colour and stir briskly to mix in the colour.

THREE: Now comes the actual technique. In a large jug, slowly pour a bit of the first colour. Next, pour some of the second colour into the first colour. And then, pour the next colour into the previous colour, and so on, until you’ve gone through all the colours. You can see in the pictures below, the first sequence of colours I poured into the jug.

Then, pouring into the middle of the previous colour, repeat the same sequence again, and again, until you’ve used up all the colours. I had enough soap to go through the sequence twice.

FOUR: Once you have finished pouring all the colours into the large jug, give the soap in the jug a slow swirl with a chopstick (that’s why I like saving unused chopsticks from takeaway dinners!).

FIVE: Finally, pour the soap slowly in your mold. For best results, pour the soap in a corner rather than in the middle of them mold.

SIX: Leave the soap to cure in the mold for a day or so, before taking it out and cutting it into bars. Depending on the recipe you used, the bars of soap will need to cure for a further 6-8 weeks.

I added titanium dioxide to my white to get the cloud-like appearance in the soap.

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