Oasis Swirl Winners
May 2022 Soap Challenge
The Oasis Swirl is an original technique created and taught by the talented Edgar Kameraki in Mexico for the May challenge. It is a gorgeous combination of gradient pours and a multi-colored center section that is swirled into the gradient sections of the soap. The inspiration behind the swirl is an oasis or reflections that are formed by the effect of heat in the desert.
We have a new sponsor this month! Micas and More is providing gift certificate prizes for the beginner and experienced categories, including the top three voted winners and two Sponsor’s Choice winners, plus an additional Sponsor’s Choice winner from the bonus category.
Stephanie Graham is a soaper who wanted a better way to get supplies for her own soap making. To make that happen, she created a Facebook group in 2014, Steph’s Micas and More, where for nearly five years it was run through “group buys.” Now you can order any time! She has a fabulous collection of soap colorants, fragrance oils and soapmaking tools, including my personal favorite spoonulas!
Starting with the experienced category, I am happy to announce our amazing winners! Huge congrats to Juanita Serrano of Juanderous in Australia for her gorgeous oasis swirl soap made to look like Northern Lights! The neon colors shine brightly in this stunning soap design. Juanita fell in love with this technique, making six different batches and perfecting the colors, gradients and swirls:
Northern Lights by Juanderous
Juanita wins a $50 gift certificate from Micas and More – woo hoo!! It’s been almost four years since she has placed in the top three, and it’s great to have her back in the Club. Check out two of her other favorite tries and and the wet soap top of this soap by clicking on the photo above which is linked to her Instagram post.
Second place goes to Etsuko Watanabe of Primadonna in Japan for her Milky Way inspired soap. It is a gorgeous display of bright neons sandwiched between blue and pink gradients. The oasis swirls flow beautifully in her soap:
Milky Way by Primadonna
Etsuko wins a $35 gift certificate from Micas and More for her efforts – well done! Click on the photo of her soap if you’d like to see how she made it.
In third place we have Diletta Vitturi, a hobbyist soapmaker in Italy. She was able to include the entire spectrum of colors in all the sections of her soap, then swirl them in the oasis pattern for a truly magical effect!
Spectrum by Diletta Vitturi
Incredible work, Diletta! She wins a $25 gift certificate from Micas and More! Click on the photo to see her Instagram post with more information about how she made her soap.
Next we have the Sponsor’s Choice winner from the experienced category. Stephanie has chosen Yawa Mensah of Yawa and Co in Kansas to receive this award. She says, “The color combination really pops with this bright color palette and the ombre technique is executed very well. I particularly like how the middle section swirl goes into the other two sections, not just the center being pulled into the other two, creating a beautiful mirage effect.“
Bright Waves by Yawa and Co
So awesome, Yawa! She wins a $20 gift certificate from Micas and More. Photo is linked to her Instagram post with an added photo of her soap if you’d like to check it out!
Recognition Awards for the experienced category are next. The Best Technique award goes to Mariel Rosales of Bee Mai Natural in Mexico. She did an amazing job creating smooth gradients, and the center section has well-defined colors that contrast beautifully with the rest of the soap. She has demonstrated excellent control over the trace and the oasis swirls flow into each section of the soap:
Egypt by Bee Mai Natural
Such a wonderful effect! Click on the photo to see more photos and videos of Mariel making this soap on her Instagram post.
For the Best Use of Color Award I am looking for well-mixed colorants in a pleasing color palette with excellent contrast. My favorite entry for this award is Journey to Polynesia by Sabina Allegretti in Italy. Sabina’s soap not only demonstrates these qualities, but she has also used color to recreate her inspiration photo with remarkable finesse.
Journey to Polynesia by Sabina Allegretti
Aren’t those gradients brilliant? Click on the photo to see the inspiration photo and more information this soap on Sabina’s Instagram post.
The Best Presentation Award is for an entry with fantastic photography and well displayed soaps. My choice for this award is Nadezhda Uskova in Russia for the beautiful photo of her Mint and Chocolate oasis swirl soaps. The soaps are so well focused in the front that I feel like I could reach out and touch them! Yet the sharpness fades toward the back and creates a much softer effect. All the soaps are well placed in an interesting diagonal fashion with equal space between them and the surface of the background is super clean.
Mint and Chocolate by Nadezhda Uskova
I would imagine that this soap smells of mint and chocolate, although Nadezhda has not provided any additional information about her soap and the photo is not linked.
Please check out the rest of the entries in the Experienced category HERE.
In the beginner category, our grand prize winner is Jessica Kruszewski in Washington State! Her Fire and Water soap combines serene blue ombre sections and a fiery orange color center that flows together like lava on the ocean. Sensational oasis swirl!
Fire and Water by Jessica Kruszewski
Jessica’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Micas and More – way to go!! Click on the photo to see her Instagram post with more info about her colorants and a gorgeous photo of the dreamy wet soap top!
Second place in the beginner category goes to Erin Korb in Kansas for her soap simply titled “Passion.” An ode to hot summer sunsets spent with her husband and love of her life, the blazing, vivid colors and sexy Love Spell fragrance make this soap truly magnificent.
Passion by Erin Korb
Erin wins a $35 gift certificate from Micas and More – congratulations! Be sure to click on the photo to read more about this soap on her Instagram post.
In third place we have Debbie Klimko in Wisconsin whose Rainy Day soap has all the elements of an amazing oasis swirl! From the smooth gradient color shifts to the deep purples melting into each section, this soap has all the feels!
Rainy Day by Debbie Klimko
Debbie’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Micas and More! So awesome! This was her first time participating in the Club and I look forward to seeing more of her creative designs! (Photo not linked)
The Sponsor’s Choice prize in the beginner category goes to Teia Westbrook-Johnson in Virginia. Stephanie says, “The ombre technique is very smooth, with a super color combination and the center color selections contrast nicely while going so well together. The swirl varies from soap to soap, but mixes beautifully with the other two sections.“
Mint Orange Swirl by Teia Westbrook-Johnson
Teia wins a $20 gift certificate from Micas and More! Believe it or not, this was her one and only attempt at this design. If you’d like to read more about this soap – including everything that went wrong during the pour, click on the photo and check out her Instagram post!
Now we get to do Recognition Awards for the beginner category! The winner of the Best Technique has the most amazing gradients and oasis swirls. Congratulations to Talissa Almeida in Brazil for winning this award! I love how the four color swirl in the center section create an optical illusion that the bars are slightly concave. If you look at the edges of the bars, you can see that they are actually perfectly straight!
90s Nick by Talissa Almeida
This is actually one of two soaps that Talissa created for the challenge. If you’d like to see the other one, visit her Instagram post that is linked to the photo.
Next is the Best Use of Color Award, and I have chosen Dancing Oasis by Kristen Lowrance in Georgia to receive this award. The colors are so smooth and wonderful, with excellent contrast! The center section has defined colors that are beautifully swirled into the soap without being muddied.
Dancing Oasis by Kristen Lowrance
Even as a beginning soapmaker Kristen is already producing beautiful, high quality work, and I look forward to seeing more of her creations in the future! (Photo not linked)
For the Best Presentation award, I’ve chosen Jellyfish Dance by Chriss Bange in Germany. It’s an excellent display of soaps that feature both the swirled tops and oasis swirls in the sides. The lighting and focus is superb and the neutral background contrasts beautifully with the soaps.
Jellyfish Dance by Chriss Bange
This is her first time participating in the Club and I’m excited to see more of her work! (Photo not linked)
Please check out the rest of the entries for the Beginner category HERE.
Finally, we have our Sponsor’s Choice winner from the Bonus category! Stephanie has chosen Northern Lights by Sara West in Missouri to receive this award. She says, “The contrast of these brightly saturated colors and color combinations is striking. The gradient effect is flawless, with a swirl pattern that is clear and well defined.” Isn’t it gorgeous??
Northern Lights by Sara West
Awesome job, Sara! She wins a $20 gift certificate from Micas and More! (Photo not linked)
Please check out the rest of the entries for the Bonus category HERE.
Registration for the June through August challenges will open on Monday, May 30th. We are doing wood grain soaps for June! Here is the soap I made for the video tutorial:
Wood Grain Soap by Amy Warden
Custom Craft Tools is back to sponsor this challenge, and they have so many fantastic molds and tools for soapmaking! You’ll see me use three of them in the tutorial. Sign up for June only for $14.95, or the next three months for $40.50! Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more information about the July and August challenges and to sign up for notifications. Looking forward to seeing you in the Club!