Thursday, April 25, 2013

Soap Challenge #3 - Mica Swirled Tops

I am a little behind on my challenges...  I'm really enjoying doing them, but as this is a pretty busy time, I haven't had as much time to play with these new techniques as I wanted.  Having said that, I was a little apprehensive about doing mica swirled tops.  I've seen blog posts by Emily at Sheih Design Studio with her amazing and creative mica tops, and I was a little intimidated to try myself.

I looked at what cool micas I had that would be good for a swirl, found that I had a beautiful gold mica from Brambleberry and built a recipe around that mica.  I had some lemongrass essential oil and wanted to try a blend with spearmint EO, and the colors that made the most sense to me were yellow and green.  I had some spearmint leaves for some texture in the soap, and I felt good to go.

I colored the bottom half yellow, used a cocoa powder pencil line, and made the top green so that I could use the super pearly white and gold micas for the swirl top.  I didn't have any pipettes, but luckily, I had given my husband a molecular mixology set for Christmas which had pipettes, so I repurposed a couple (shhh, don't tell him...)

Here's what the wet soap mica swirls looked like:

I was so pleased with how these turned out!  They kind of look like a tapestry, honestly.  I stuck them in the oven overnight to gel, and the house smelled so good.  The blend was lemongrass, spearmint, and frankincense EOs, but it smells kind of like lemon cake to me right now.

Here's what the soaps look like when cured:

Still looking good!

Some of the beauty of the swirls was lost when the bars were cut, but I really love the colors. If I had a better close up, you could see the spearmint leaves as added texture inside the bar.  Unfortunately, the light wasn't great this morning for pics.

I'm definitely doing this technique again.  I want to try it with textured tops, too.  It was easier than I thought, and it makes these soaps look so polished and fancy!

The only thing I noticed when unmolding, though, is that the mica on top was starting to rub off on my hands...  Has anyone who has tried this technique noticed the same thing? Did I use too much mica?  



  1. So pretty Chrissy, love your beautiful swirls! I did find that the mica rubbed off for the first few days but it didn't seem to be an issue after that.

  2. Better late than never,Chrissy! And it was so worth of waiting! It's beautiful! I ended up with too thick batter, couldn't get those fine,subtle lines,I suppose I will have to wait for my better shoot!

  3. Thanks, Cee and Maja! I was really worried about the mica and being able to do this technique again if the mica just rubbed off everywhere... That would get to be pretty messy for everyone!

    And Maja - I was really worried about my green half being too thick - it had started to set up in the bowl while I was doing my pencil line, and luckily, I got it moving again with a whisk. I was pretty nervous while I was making this!

  4. Beautiful, Chrissy! The swirls are amazing! Really like the colors, especially because the green is my favorite color :)

  5. Chrissy - oh they are beautiful and what a wonderful technique.
    Great job!

  6. Amazing colors. The green and gold are a perfect combo. And I´m very picky when it comes to green colors. I noticed that the mica rubbed of a day or two after I cut the soap, but not after that. I had to go and check :)

  7. Beautiful mica swirls, Chrissy! I still haven't tried this yet. I'm thinking about maybe trying it in a slab mold. The effect is so gorgeous - I need to do this soon!

  8. Beautiful...I am so impressed! I'm too chicken to try this, lol. The colors and scent combo you chose are just perfect! The swirls on top are so pretty!

  9. Absolutely beautiful! You did a great job and I love how your used the gold mica on the top. =)

  10. Thanks, everyone! It was a fun challenge, and I am looking forward to doing it again with more micas. I just need to get some more pipettes :)


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