Soap Challenge 2013 – Week Three

Wow! That elemental swirl was a huge challenge and a huge success for a lot of people this week! You can check out the link-up here.

We are now ready for our Week Three soap challenge: Mica Swirled Tops. The basic technique is to create a mica & oil mixture and drizzle it over the top of your soap, and then swirl it like you would with a contrasting colored soap. The oil will be absorbed into the soap leaving a beautiful mica swirl on top.

The first place I saw this was on the Shieh Studio Blog. Emily has several photos of her soaps with mica swirls on this post. She also posted a video recently, so if you need to see how she did it, you can check that out!

Still need more? Pipestone Soaps also has some fabulous photos of mica swirled tops on their Facebook page! I asked Sacha for some tips before making my soap, and she recommended starting with just one metallic color to begin with, so I went with gold.

Here are the results of my first attempt at this technique:

Tips:
1. It takes very little mica & oil to create the effect. Even using 1/2 tsp. oil with 1/4 tsp. of mica I still had about half of my mixture left. Of course, it depends on how big your soap is, but just know that a little goes a LONG way!
2. You can use any color mica, but metallic micas will be the most shiny.
3. Stick to one color for your first batch! Because the oil is so fluid, it’s a lot more difficult to maintain separate colors if you do more than one.
4. Kenna of Amathia Soapworks says she textures the soap first, then drizzles the mica & swirls it with a chopstick.
5. I would highly recommend having a little more fluid soap to begin with – medium trace at most! (Feel free to use any technique you like for the inside of the soap.)
6. As always – have fun!!!

Please note: You will actually have TWO WEEKS to complete your soap for this challenge since there will be a break next week. The link-up will still open up this Saturday at 6am CST, but it will remain open for two weeks.

14 thoughts on “Soap Challenge 2013 – Week Three

  1. Marika says:

    Oh, I like this challenge! Mica swirled tops is a new technique for me, but it looks easy. I also would like to try that swirl-in-swirl technique. Can´t wait for your soap to be cut. Do we have to wait 2 weeks or is it normally in a week? Happy soaping!

  2. says:

    @Marika – I will definitely reveal my soap and post the link-up in one week, but I won’t be posting the final challenge for two weeks. That’s why everyone has an extra week to get their soaps posted. 🙂

  3. I have been following your challenges this year Amy – it is hard not to, as soapers everywhere seem to be joining in! I haven’t participated but have loved seeing everyone’s interpretations. I too was inspired by Emily of Shieh Design Studio and did my first oil/mica swirled top a few months ago. I used a slab divider mould and minimal swirling so my results are different to what I have seen others achieve. If you would like to see it just scroll down my Facbook page a little (it is called Cleopatra). I can’t wait to see what swirls everyone will achieve! 🙂

    Tanya xx

  4. Michele Lavallee says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the inspiration! Your challenges have prompted me to get off my behind and start soaping again and it has been so much fun! Thank you so much!

  5. says:

    I have to say…one of the best things about this video is knowing that I’m not alone when I’m trying new techniques and my soap is moving way faster than I am. LOL Can’t wait to try this. I’m about to head out to my studio now.

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