Splash Swirl Winners

November 2022 Soap Challenge

The inspiration for the challenge this month came from the Splash Swirl by Wachirahat Kris of Thai Herbal Soap by KriS.  The goal of the technique is to create as many long, vertical swirls as possible.  The swirls can originate from the top, middle or bottom of the soap.

What a privilege to have Baraka Shea Butter as our returning sponsor!  Purchasing from Baraka directly impacts women, families and communities in Ghana.  They offer a variety of pure, natural and unrefined oils and butters as well as a wide range of black soap products, food powders, and beautiful handwoven baskets.  What an amazing opportunity to offer your support for their community sourced and handcrafted products!

They are providing gift certificate prizes for the top four voted winners in the regular and advanced categories, plus one Sponsor’s Choice winner in the non-competitive bonus category.  Those who have been making soap for more than three years or who have placed in the top three of any of our soap challenges are required to enter the advanced category.

So let’s start with those results!  I am very pleased to announce the grand prize winner in the advanced category is Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks in Indiana!  After several attempts with this technique, her “Nightfall” soap is a stunning representation of the northern lights!  Check out the beautiful color shifts and splash swirls:

Nightfall by Tree Marie Soapworks

Teri wins a $50 gift certificate from Baraka.  Fantastic job and congratulations!!  To see Teri’s other attempts at this technique, click on the photo above and check out her Instagram post!

In second place by just three votes we have one of last month’s winners: Melanie McNiece in Australia with her super colorful splash swirl design called “Cannonball!”  The contrast of the darker splash swirls against their pastel counterparts creates a stunning pattern in her soaps:

Cannonball! by Melanie McNiece

Melanie wins a $35 gift certificate from Baraka – way to go!  Even more impressive is that Melanie has been making cold process soap for less than a year now, and she made her very first YouTube video for this challenge – click on the photo to check it out!

In third place we have Sayani Biswas of Cocoon Creations LLC in Texas.  She did an incredible job incorporating polar bear embeds with the splash swirl northern lights design!  The subtle ombre effect is outstanding and the colors are very rich and vibrant:

Journey Towards Northern Lights

Beautiful soaps, Sayani!!  She wins a $25 gift certificate from Baraka.  Click on the photo to read more about Sayani’s soaps on her Instagram post.

Our fourth place winner is Rebecca Kusza in Indiana with her impressive use of splash swirls to create “A Bloom of Jellyfish.”  Rebecca utilized soap dough embeds to compose the sectioned bodies of the jellyfish and achieved amazingly delicate splash swirl tentacles:

A Bloom of Jellyfish by Rebecca Kusza

Rebecca had designed the extruders for the jellyfish bodies earlier this year, but hadn’t been happy with her attempts to make liquid swirling tentacles – until now!  She wins a $20 gift certificate Baraka – woo hoo!  Her Instagram post with more information is linked to the photo above.

Recognition Awards for the advanced category are next.  The Best Technique award is for the soap with the most long, vertical splash swirls.  I have chosen Diane Holt of River Ridge Artisan Soaps in Washington State to receive this award.  Not only does she have fluid splash swirls, but she’s managed to keep the colors from getting muddied together as well:


Celebrate by River Ridge Artisan Soaps

Incredible colors and design!  Check out all that rainbow goodness on Diane’s Facebook post which is linked to the photo above.

The Best Use of Color Award is for an entry with smooth, well-mixed colors, and excellent contrast.  Clare Norman of Soda and Ash in Australia did a phenomenal job using a variety of colors to replicate her inspiration piece (in a brighter palette) while creating distinctive swirl patterns:

Deluge by Soda and Ash

The contrast of this design is absolutely phenomenal, and while it may not have been intentional, the black outlines around the watery splash swirls really enhance the effect!  You’ll want to click on the photo to see Clare’s inspiration photo and read more information about this soap on her Instagram post.

The Best Presentation Award is for an entry with well displayed soaps and fantastic photography.  My pick for this award is Ginger Patchouli Splash by Jessica Krames of Swamp Farm Suds in Florida.  It’s the combination of the way she angled the soaps with one leaning against the rest and how she captured the colors against the dark background that really drew me to this photo. 

Ginger Patchouli Splash by Swamp Farm Suds

The dark background really accentuates the black swirls and shows off the contrast of the lighter colors in the soap.  Excellent work, Jessica!  Click on the photo above to see more photos and information about this soap on her Instagram post.

Ok, now for the regular category!  Congratulations to our grand prize winner Savannah Kerns in Washington State!  She executed her splash swirl design superbly, with multiple vertical lines of rain colored soap.  Take a look at the excellent color contrast in her Summer Showers soap:

Summer Showers by Savannah Kerns

Savannah’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Baraka – so awesome!!  Click on the photo to read more about how the soap was made on her Instagram post.

Second place in the regular category goes to Chriss Bange in Germany for her Arctic soap!  Taking on a winter themed soap, Chriss was able to create a lovely contrast with the blues and white against a black background.  The moody photo also creates a chilly feel:

Arctic by Chriss Bange

Chriss wins a $35 gift certificate from Baraka – wonderful work!  Read more about the inspiration for Chriss’ soap on her Instagram post, linked to the photo above.

In third place we have Suzanne Thomashow in Michigan, a first time challenger who created a beautiful Pink Ladies soap!  The colors and swirls turned out fantastic as you can see:

Pink Ladies by Suzanne Thomashow

Suzanne wins a $25 gift certificate from Baraka.  Great job!   Click on the photo to read more about Suzanne’s soap on her Instagram post.

The fourth place prize for the regular category goes to Rachel Brinkerhoff in California!  Rachel’s design is a lovely lavender and green splash swirl, and I imagine it smells like lavender as well:

Lavender Swirl by Rachel Brinkerhoff

Rachel wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka – hooray!  (Photo not linked.)

Now we get to do Recognition Awards for the regular category!  For the Best Technique, I found “Possibilities” by Janelle Sharp in North Carolina to be an excellent example of long, vertical splash swirls.  I love how they dip almost to the very bottom of the soaps:

Possibilities by Janelle Sharp

Janelle did a great job creating contrast with her swirls and keeping them fluid as well.  Check out her Instagram post that is linked to the photo above!

Next is the Best Use of Color Award, and I have chosen Ocean Waters by Shannon Vincent in New York to receive this award.  Not only is it a very pleasing color palette, but she did an amazing job using multiple colors in her splash swirl without getting them muddied!  The contrast is excellent and the colorants are all well-mixed and smooth in the soap:

Ocean Waters by Shannon Vincent

I love the mix of dark and light blues with a hint of green!  You can see more photos of this soap as well as several other batches that Shannon made on her Facebook post by clicking on the photo above.

For the Best Presentation award, I’ve chosen “Blooming” by Ajeng Dewanthi in Indonesia.  I love how the soaps are neatly lined up and centered in the photo with plenty of white space around the edges.  There is adequate lighting without creating shadows and the soaps are perfectly focused:

Blooming by Ajeng Dewanthi

Well done, Ajeng!!  To see more fantastic photos of her soap, click on this one to check out her Instagram post.

Finally, we have our Sponsor’s Choice winner from the bonus category!  Kristal from Baraka Shea Butter was very excited to see all the entries and though her decision was quite difficult, she has chosen “Weirwood Tree” by Wan-Ting Gonzalez of Tile Soaps in California to receive the award!  Kristal particularly likes the clean, dramatic colours in the swirls, that the swirls stretch across the bar horizontally, and the pull up of swirls from the bottom.  She also mentioned that the colour contrasts are beautiful!

Weirwood Tree by Tile Soaps

Wan-Ting wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka – congratulations!  This was her second attempt at this particular design with the splash swirls.  You can see her first one and more information about how she created them on her Instagram post that is linked to the photo above!   

Congratulations to all our winners, and a huge thank you to Baraka Shea Butter for sponsoring and everyone who participated in the challenge this month!  If you would like to see the rest of the entries this month, check out these links:

Registration for the December challenge opens Monday, November 28!  I am super excited to do some Crazy Layers!  It’s a great opportunity to challenge yourself to try out a new technique.  Majestic Mountain Sage is our returning sponsor!  Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more information and sign up to be notified as soon as registration opens.  Here’s the soap I made for the video tutorial: