This month’s Great Cakes Soap Challenge involved learning a new technique called the Pipe Divider Swirl. This technique was created by Tania of Soapish. You can see the video of her beautiful Thorns and Roses soap here. Keep reading for more info on my pipe divider soap, including a video I made of my entire process. :)
My entry for the Great Cakes challenge this month was actually my second attempt. I wasn’t happy with the color definition in my first batch, so I decided to try another one using some colors that might stand out a bit more. I had hoped for a prettier green, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get there with natural colorants. I was actually attempting to get colors that resembled a purple iris (dark purple and light purple), but my darker purple ended up navy thanks to the super intense new organic indigo root powder I tried.
I used varying sizes of pvc pipe connectors – 2.5″ down to 1″ in size. I tried to place them so that each bar would have some of the pipe swirl soap. Here’s an Instagram pic I posted after going to the hardware store and buying the pipe connectors (and this isn’t even all of them). I bought WAY too many (especially considering my little slab mold is a tiny 7″x7″). I just couldn’t decide on the sizes to get. The cashier looked at me funny when I said it was for soap making. :)
I secured the pipe connectors to the bottom of my lined mold using melted cocoa butter. After I placed them, I was concerned that I had used too much cocoa butter. But when the time came to take them out, they were quite easy to remove – I just gently turned them and they lifted right out.
Olive Oil – 45%
Coconut Oil – 25%
Sustainable Organic Palm Oil – 15%
Sunflower Oil (High Oleic) – 9%
Avocado Oil – 3%
Castor Oil – 3%
Superfat – 5%
Purple – alkanet root infused olive oil – 1 tsp per cup of soap
I used a very dark alkanet root infusion that has quite a bit of alkanet powder remaining.
Dark Purple (ended up navy) – alkanet root infused oil plus a little indigo root infused olive oil – 1 tsp alkanet per cup of soap plus about 1/2 teaspoon indigo with a little added indigo powder. The indigo powder I used is the organic indigo root powder from BotanicalColors.com. It is the darkest indigo I’ve ever used, and it takes very little to produce a very dark, intense violet blue. Hindsight – perhaps one of my weaker indigo infusions would have worked better here for darkening up the purple alkanet.
Green – nettle leaf infused olive oil with nettle leaf powder and alfalfa leaf powder – about 1.5 teaspoons of nettle oil per cup of soap plus 1 teaspoon of alfalfa powder added directly to the soap and blended. The alfalfa powder left brown specks in the soap but definitely darkened up the green for me. However, the green still remained a yellow, pea green color.
I made a video of the entire process. As soon as it posts to YouTube, I’ll paste it in below. :)
Thank you so much for reading my post!
16 thoughts on “Rosemary Mint Pipe Divider Swirl”
Neat!! I love how these turned out! I also enjoy reading about your natural colorants and usage rates. I have purchased that same organic indigo from Botanical Colors but have yet to actually try it! Also – I received some samples from soapmakingcolorants.com, and one was woad and another was green indigo, which I had never heard of before. It turns more of an olive green, but if it sticks, there may be another natural green colorant to add to your arsenal! (The woad was really potent also, and created a lovely dark blue that bled into a lighter blue around it because I CPOP’ed it.)
Thanks! And thank you for the info on the colorants! I’ve been wanting to try woad forever but haven’t been able to find it. I will definitely try that and the green indigo. I’m so tired of always ending up with pea green. LOL :)
Gorgeous, as usual, Holly! I truly love how subtle yet stunning the swirls and colors turned out! FABULOUS!
Thank you so much, Debi!
So beautiful Holly!
I love the video too – it’s also a work of art!
It’s amazing the gorgeous colors you can get from natural ingredients.
Oh, thank you so much! That’s so sweet of you to say. :)
Such a lovely soap – I’m usually all about bright, in your face colours but this is simply stunning!!
Thank you!! :)
This turned out so gorgeous and I absolutely love your color choices and watching you make it. Thank you for the usage rates on your natural colorants too.
Best of luck to you with the contest!!
Thank you so much!! :)
Beautiful colors!!!! I absolutely love it;-)
What is the percentage of water to oils, I am trying to do my first slow tracing recipe and not sure how high I can go on water in order to have more time to play
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Teresa! I actually used a water discount with my pipe divider swirl soap since my recipe was such a slow moving recipe (and I’ve made this recipe so many times that I’m really comfortable doing a discount and still having time). But if you wanted more time, I would suggest using the recommended water amount from the soap calculator you’re using. Thank you again! :)
Hi Holly, I just found your videos through Amanda Aaron’s blog post list of YouTube soapmaking videos. I’m so inspired by them. I have a question about the organic indigo root powder from BotanicalColors.com. If you were going to use it for a straight blue, would you tend to use less than normal? If so, would you infuse less in the oil, or use less of the infused oil? It’s pretty pricey and I want to make it last as long as possible, while still being able to achieve a true blue. I’ve had awful results from past attempts at using indigo: either the soap has turned a sickly gray, or a pink. I read your Sweet Heart Impression Mat blog post, and that answers the pink issue. Nice, except the result I was looking for at the time was a blue sky in a landscape soap! Lol! Thank you so much for your generous information. Love your videos and soap designs!
Janiel, Thank you so much for watching my videos and reading my blog! As far as the indigo, I always make the same (very dark) infusions regardless of how I will eventually use it (except for the pink – that’s a special very low color infusion). However, I have learned that I can use much less of the Botanical Colors indigo in my infusions (compared to some of the others). I recently made some new infused indigo where I used 6 teaspoons (Botanical Colors) per quart jar of olive or sunflower oil (normally, I would have had to use double that). Now that I’ve used it, I’m thinking I could have even used a bit less (it’s so dark). If I want a solid blue soap, I will substitute a percentage of my recipe oils with the indigo infused olive or sunflower oil (perhaps about 2% of the total recipe oils using the Botanical Colors). That may even be too much though. The Botanical Colors indigo infused oil is so dark that I find using even the smallest amounts will yield a dark blue soap. If you want a lighter blue (without looking gray), I would recommend BrambleBerry or Nurture Soaps indigo. Oh, and I always shake my indigo infused oil before use when I want a dark blue. :) Thank you again! I hope this helps and good luck!
Thank you so much, Holly. I can’t wait to get all of my infusion powders and give it another go!