Spinning Swirl Soap Challenge – Forest Bark Soap

bark soap 004 bark soap 003 bark soap 002 bark soap 001

Whew! I have been busy making soap again! Once I heard about the spinning soap swirl, I had to give it a try. It is such a cool way to swirl soap, and so uncomplicated. And it just happens to be this month’s Great Cakes Soapwork Challenge. I made three batches for this challenge~because there are so many variables to explore with this technique.

For my first batch, I used an essential oil blend, and several shades of pink/mauve. I colored it with Brazilian red clay, and I also added bentonite clay because clays are such good detoxifyers, and I just like the silky feel of soap with clay in it. I blended my mixture to thin trace, mixed the colors, and started pouring away. Here is the video showing the making of this soap:

and, a couple of pictures of the finished soap:

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I liked this one, and the smell is fantastic, but I was really hoping for skinnier stripes. So then, I decided to go for batch number 2 🙂

My son had been asking me to make a soap for him. He wanted some “manly” essential oils like fir, pine, cypress, and cedar. As I was looking at various online examples of spinning swirl soap, it occurred to that the unique way the colors swirl together resembles the bark pattern on trees. Well, then I looked at a bunch of photos of tree bark, (I bet you can see where this is going) and then I decided to create Forest Bark soap. I chose a color palette using the shades that kept popping up in the bark photos, and then I made sure to barely mix the soap at all (just to emulsification), so my batter would be very thin and my stripes would end up super skinny. I really can’t believe how much like tree bark it turned out!! (Maybe I should have done this for the landscape challenge last month, LOL).

So, without further ado, here is the video showing how I made Forest Bark Soap:

And then, because I happened to fall in love with the spinning swirl, I had to make just one more batch. This one is scented with lavender and lemongrass essential oils. I am loving the way lemongrass smells lately! I wanted to do some bright colors with the skinny swirls, just to see how it would look. I also decided to pour in six spots, instead of just four. Here are a few photos of how it turned out:

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and here is the video:

It was really hard to decide which soap to enter into the contest. I am pretty happy with all of them. I finally decided that the uniqueness of the Forest Bark makes it my overall favorite. I would say this is one of my all time favorite ways to swirl soap. The possibilities are endless!

38 thoughts on “Spinning Swirl Soap Challenge – Forest Bark Soap

  1. Love all three of your soaps, bet it was hard to choose as they are all so nice. The wood bark is so neat, you really nailed authentic bark! Great job on all of them.


  2. Theresa, your woodgrain is perfect. I have been trying to create a woodgrain soap for a year now and after making my swirl I thought the spinning swirl might be the right way to go. You have shown me how to do it so well. Would you mind telling me what colours you used? I love this soap!


    1. Thank you, Lesley! I used some micas I got from TBK Trading. I will look at the names tomorrow, and let you know which ones. I didn’t write it down, and I mixed some of them together, but I think I will be able to mostly remember which ones!


  3. Wow! You’ve captured the knack of spinning swirls. I’m so impressed. The Forest Bark looks like bark, and what an awesome man-soap design/scent. Bravo! Well, done on all tree. What recipe did you use? All three times I tried the soap got too thick to spin in that wafting veil kind of way. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Leela,
      Thanks so much for your kind words! I used my regular recipe (50% manteca (lard), 25% olive oil, 25% coconut oil) for this soap. When I need this recipe to be very thin, I soap around 110-120 degrees. Lard tends to harden at lower temps. I know some people get grossed out at the idea of using lard, but I love how creamy and hard the soap ends up with this recipe. Hope this helps!


  4. Theresa, all of them are beautiful. I love the first, the clay-colored one but the Forest Bark is the one which looks the best. Glad you chose the one which your son like the best.


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