When I first heard of the Helix swirl from Amy Warden at Great Cakes Soapworks, I thought “What is that?” Funny me, I had no idea that the DNA swirl had another name.
I have seen some incredibly beautiful examples of the Helix swirl on Pinterest and as it was February’s challenge, I thought really hard about it. For me, it turned to be a double, not to say a triple challenge. First, I wanted to break away from my recent obsession with pink – I had made so many pink soaps that I was tired of pink soaps ( I still like the color though 🙂 and my clients seem to never tire of it.)
So, first I search my pictures from last summer and I discovered one taken from my balcony at sunset.
I prepared my colors: copper orange, gold sparkle, black (from bamboo charcoal), dark cocoa (from cocoa powder mixed with charcoal) and white.
The Helix swirl alone is more than enough to make your soap gorgeous. Yet, in addition to the color palette, I could not help thinking about how to use the swirl as a means to create a certain image rather than use the swirl by itself. Several years ago, when I did an in-the-pot swirl with red palm oil and cocoa powder, I got a soap which was very close to that of the image of Jupiter in my natural science textbook in school. Of course, the soap was shaped into spheres so it was a nice three-dimensional image of the planet. This time, I decided it was time I revisited the idea – after all, I had chosen a color palette which would be good for the project.
But here came the other challenge. Top-surface swirls are two-dimensional and as such so is the Helix swirl. So I had to use a two-dimensional technique to create a three-dimensional image. Easy enough, I guess, for an artist used to using his or her brushes and canvas. Not so easy for a soaper.
I did layer the soap because I figured that every layer will help me get a better feel for the next one. I started with swirling on white base but the contrast was much better on the second dark-cocoa base layer and the third, the bamboo charcoal layer. I have to say though that there was not advice against using the maica-in-oil technique for the challenge, I did all the swirls with micas mixed in avocado oil. My reasoning was that I wanted to have the sparkling effect even after the soap had dried up.
I waited for each layer to harden so that I would not disturb the lines while pouring the next layer.
It took time but I eventually got my soap finished. It looks like the 3D image is there and if you use your imagination, you might even decide that there is a string of small Jupiters there 🙂 On the way though, I was tempted to leave the swirl like this because I love how the single Helix swirl looks.
I worried somewhat about how the unmolded soap would look but I am satisfied with the finished soap better than I thought I would be. The copper sparckle and the gold mica stand out against the black base and this is what I wanted to get as a result. The soap is scented with a relaxing blend of sandalwood and jasmine essential oils and I cannot wait for it to cure.
Thank you Amy for another great challenge! I am very much looking forward to seeing all the beautiful soaps for this challenge!
I wish you all an enjoyable weekend!