For this month’s Soap Challenge Club, we revisited a technique from 2015 called the tall and skinny shimmy. Our guest instructor was Tatiana Serko of Creative Soaps by Steso. Tatiana provided us with a wonderful tutorial for the regular category by creating a gorgeous 7 color shimmy soap. For the advanced category instruction, our host, Amy Warden, created a beautiful ombre shimmy and provided us with so many helpful details, as always. If you’re interested in this or past techniques, be sure to check out the Soap Challenge Club tutorials page.
This is my tall and shimmy entry for the advanced category. I created a video of my process but won’t have that posted for a few days or so.
I can hardly believe where the time has gone, but this month actually marks 5 years since my very first Soap Challenge Club. Prior to joining, my soaps were pretty much solid color bars. Once in awhile, I’d do a one-color drop swirl or a spoon swirl, but that was really all I tried during my first few years of soapmaking. I had started to see posts and videos from other soapmakers who were creating beautiful swirls for something called Amy’s Soap Challenge. I found one video in particular by Kevin Devine that caught my attention. It still took me awhile to get my confidence up, but finally in April 2015, I joined my first Great Cakes Soap Challenge and tried my hand at a spinning swirl. I learned so much in that first challenge tutorial, and the support and encouragement I received from the other soapmakers was just amazing. I was absolutely hooked. :)
Ok, back to this soap…
I used one of the slow moving recipes provided to us in the Soap Challenge Club’s Helpful Tips section (the lard version). Amy’s recipe worked really well, and my soap stayed fluid the entire pour. I did choose to use a blender very sparingly, pulsing only a few times. I then hand stirred (about 30 more minutes) and waited on the soap to be ready. By the time I was set to pour, the soap was at a very faint, very thin trace, and the trace disappeared immediately.
NAVY: Indigo root powder mixed with sunflower oil (1/2 teaspoon per cup of soap) plus activated charcoal mixed with sunflower oil (1/8 teaspoon per cup of soap)
MINT GREEN: Green oxide mixed with sunflower oil (10 drops per cup of soap)
WHITE: Titanium dioxide dissolved in hot water (1/4 teaspoon per cup of soap)
ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND
Eucalyptus – 2 parts
Lemon – 2 parts
Peppermint – 1 part
MAKING THE SOAP
The advanced category required alternating the mold from side to side exactly 7 times with at least 3 different pours per side. This required a minimum of 21 different pours, and I did exactly 21. I elevated the mold about 1″.
For each side, I poured 2 separate colors first, followed by a pot swirl with the blue and green colors. I started with a bottom layer pour of blue, then green, then a blue-green pot swirl. For layers 2 through 7, I poured white, then blue, then a blue-green pot swirl.
As you can probably see from the first photo above, I didn’t pay enough attention to keeping my pour even all the way across the mold. I moved too fast with my cup and ended up with more soap on the ends than in the middle. Thankfully, my end soaps did have some shimmy, but the ones in the very middle basically have none. With my practice batch, I really focused on keeping the soap even (pics below), so I’m not sure what I was thinking here. LOL
Soaps from the very middle of the batch. Skinny but no shimmy.
Thank you so much for reading my post and good luck to everyone who enters this month! ❤️