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:

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.