Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Guest Tutorial: Creating Soap Swirls with Mica & Glycerin

Michelle Rhoades, of Mossy Creek Soap, so graciously offered to share her incredibly cool technique that almost makes the soap look like gilded stone.  She does it flawlessly!  Thank you, Michelle, for your time and energy and lovely photographs!!  I will, of course, need to try this.  I think it is perhaps one of my favorite "looks" of all time.

Creating swirled soap tops are not all that hard but it does require practice. With this method you need to keep in mind the consistency of your newly poured soap. Some techniques require your soap base to be thick enough to be able to fluff up the soap base and remain stiff but not too stiff you cannot manipulate it.  This soap on the other hand requires it to be softer so the swirls you are creating will flow.

To begin I suggest to make your favorite recipe for heavy swirling.  Maybe one high in olive oil and/or one without a water discount. Mix them at a lower temperature than you would normally.

This technique is similar to the mica oil swirl--- but with glycerin instead.  Yes, you can also make beautiful swirls with mica & glycerin. The cool thing that happens is the soap absorbs the glycerin, creating a cavern and leaving behind a beautiful mica indention kind of like travertine stone.

left: 1st poured                                                       right: 2 days after unmolding

I like to use 14k Gold Mica and Sparkly White Mica because these seem to show up the best. Mix the mica into the glycerin pretty thick.  Use just enough glycerin to make it fluid.


Here are some photos of the newly poured soap (left) with the glycerin mica swirls. The day after picture with the mica absorbed (right)


You can clearly see the glycerin mica sitting on top.

This soap is made with a combined mica oil and mica glycerin swirl. You can see where the mica oil swirl is fluid and the glycerin mica beads up.  This is what you are looking for because in a few days the beads will disappear and leave behind a cavern.

A few things to keep in mind: less is more. If you can add too much glycerin, it will become soupy. Also, the main photo was flatten with a lid that was placed on top of the soap after it was poured.  

Thank you, Michelle!  What a dreamy tutorial you have shared! 
 Please go visit Michelle's website and gaze at her lovelies!! http://www.mossycreeksoap.com/


Caron. Michelle. Somers said...

Looks divine, thanks for sharing this with us Michelle.

sharon said...

Awesome and Michelle has inspired me many times over the last few months.

dcyrill said...

Thank you Michelle. I will definitely try this technique. I still have to take a trip to see you. :)

Distracted Housewife said...

I've never seen this technique before--thank you for sharing it with us. I'm excited to try it.

Anne-Marie said...

Such lovely soap! I am so glad hat Michelle got to share this technique. =)

T.A. Helton said...

I wish I had seen this BEFORE this afternoon's soaping adventure! LOL Those look beautiful.

Soapin' Cindy said...

This is absolutely stunning...never seen anything like it. Thanks so much for sharing. Much appreciated. I've tried mixing mica with oil to jazz up tops, but it gets so smeary! Will definitely try.

alison said...

Always remember to put enough glycerine when making a soap. Glycerine helps a lot with the moisture of your skin.

KissyStar said...

This idea is something super and unique - I have to try it a.s.a.p.! I love it! Thank you so much for sharing! :) Greetings: Eszter

Ricardo Chagas said...

I'm new in the cold process and have found your website amazing, with plenty of recipes and new gr8 ideias. I'll share it in my blog. And please feel free to visit my online store of Soaps from Brazil at: http://loja.fabricadearomas.com.br