Hello dear ones, 

    This month, I decided to join the Soap Challenge Club and take up the challenge of creating the lollipop swirl instructed by Mater Sam.  There were two categories to choose from. . .the beginner category and experienced.  The beginner category guidelines included soapers who have been working in this craft for less than one year and have made less than 50 batches.  The finished soap must have a simple display of the lollipop swirl technique shown over at least three soaps from a batch.  The experienced category included the lollipop swirl with the addition of an added accent around the swirl.  This could include additional piping, using the swirl as an imbed, or rimming the swirl with an additional design.  All soaps must have been made via cold process technique and may be oven processed afterwards.  

  Though I qualify for the beginner category, I've decided to enter the soap above in the experienced category.  For inspiration on colors, I utilized this photo from Getty Images: 


 I thought the colors here were so vibrant and beautiful!  I split my batter five ways and colored with Really Red, Yellow Vibrance/Shimmer Gold, Purple Vibrance, Klein Blue (all from Nurture Soap), and activated charcoal to make a dark red.  The fragrance is Tobacco and Bay leaf from BrambleBerry, a known decelerating fragrance.  For this technique, the soap cannot trace too quickly or the swirl will not spread correctly.  I also utilized a 2.75" acrylic vertical cylinder mold from AliExpress and a lazy susan for easier application.  The dark red was poured before each color in a small amount to add definition to each main color. 

     For the additional accent, it was really difficult to decide exactly what to do here.  The colors are already so "busy" and vibrant in the original lollipop, so I decided to keep it simple and embed the lollipop in a ghost swirl batter.  For this, I had my husband build me a 3.25" square wooden vertical mold with a hinged bottom.  I mixed up plain soap batter and used a lye concentration of 45% for half of the batter and 30% lye concentration for the other half.  I then did layered pours around the lollipop and swirled with a long skewer.  



It can be difficult to really appreciate the swirl in photos, but it is lovely and subtle and such a nice accent to the colorful lollipop swirl.  Overall, I enjoyed this challenge so much and I really had a great time executing the technique.  I can't describe my delight after cutting my soap and discovering that I was able to achieve the desired affect. 

     Best wishes!

Amy Amado