The Column Swirl Phenomenon

It’s really incredible how fast word spreads on the internet, and exciting to see how contagious inspiration can be!  Last month my husband showed me a video posted on Facebook, originally uploaded by Non ci posso credere.”  (Click here to view the video.  It’s SOOO cool!)  It showed artists pouring paint down a column creating the most amazing swirled designs.  Then on March 14 I shared it on the Soapylove fanpage, and the response was thrilling!

The very next day Amanda Griffin, author of the great CP eZine “Lovin’ Soap”, posted a FULL TUTORIAL showing how to do it with cold process soap (including her recipe), and coined the term “Column Swirl.”  She will be posting it for The Soap Queen very soon, but here’s a sneak peek.  I love all of her beautiful colors!

The next week, Erin Pikor of Naiad Soap Arts posted her soapy experiment using this method, using all natural colorants.  More gorgeous results! (Click here for her post).

Then Holly Port of Lotion Bar Café (click here for her post),  and finally David Fisher, writer for wrote about this new technique here.

Not only is it super cool how exciting it is to get inspired, but also how great the soap community is!  Everyone wanted to share their discoveries and projects with each other, and keep spreading the word about this new method.  Now if someone can just figure out how to do a column swirl with MP!  😉

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  1. Leah says

    Does anyone have a recipe they like to use for this technique? I haven’t actually seen a video of someone instructing soapers how to measure out/mix colors and fragrance and then pour down the columns, so my first concern is that I wouldn’t be able to get everything done quickly enough (before the soap hardens). I can definitely envision “soap on a… uh, column.” 😀

  2. Megan says

    What kind of thing is best to use as the column.. Just a piece of wood from a hardware store? or is there something different/better/easy to make at home?


  3. says

    I wonder if you could get something that looks like this by adding layers from the outside in…..does that make sense at all?

    • says

      That sounds like an interesting technique and you might need an extra hand to pour the soap from all sides. If you give it a shot keep us posted =)

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  4. Kacie says

    Could you add glycerin to the melt and pour to give yourself more time with the colors? Kind of like when you make Jelly Roll soap. Haven’t tried it, but it’s the first thing that came to mind.

  5. Linda says

    I tried to do a column swirl, but had problems with my soap getting too thick. Next time I will use a different recipe. I also had trouble finding something suitable to use for a “column”. What do you use for the column???

    • says

      Melted melt and pour soap is so thin. Chances are the colors would just blend into each other. However, I think it could be done if you poured at the right temperature…that might take some experimenting.

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  6. says

    Woo hoo I can’t wait! I can always count on you to bring us new fantastic ideas for new soaping techniques! I wish your intensive soap weekend was closer… the flight from West Australia would be just killer!
    But no matter where we live we love seeing all your ideas (and fantastic videos!) Keep em’ coming!


  7. Stephanie says

    Just tried the column swirl going to cut my bars tomorrow. I’m excited to see how it turns out. I had no problem doing this technique by myself. i used the clemintine cupcake frag so it smell delicious.

  8. says

    Great stuff Debbie :) I’ve had this on my list to try for a while now, and I just never get to it. I was a bit underwhelmbed by my funnel swirl attempt, and this so rocks :). MP – Hmm.. I am sure you can do it, maybe 2 more pairs of hands to pour simultaneously :)

    • says

      Melt and pour would be a little tough. Give it a try and keep us updated =) I would try pouring the soap around 125-130 degrees. You’ll definitely need it on the thicker side so it doesn’t just blend in with the other colors.

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  9. sandi says

    So Cool! Can’t wait to try it. Been wanting to make tie dye soaps for so long and this looks like the best way to do it. Thank you!

  10. Tami says

    Column Swirling/swirl is the term so many use for the last few years when using paints at a few collages.. It isn’t a made up word. Very pretty and i love the colours.. lets try ti in wax too..

  11. Michelle says

    I just did a post on this yesterday as well and can’t remember where I saw it.

    Look forward to the video.