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/

Monday, August 5, 2013

Macro Art Soap Porn

This week we had another Photo Challenge at Soaper's Retreat (my Facebook group).  What amazing and glorious photos they posted!!  The challenge was MACRO photo:  Get as close as possible to your soap and shoot.  There were more entries, I think, for this challenge than any other.  One thing to keep in mind when posting entries for these challenges:  MAKE SURE YOU HAVE IT IN FOCUS.  There were gorgeous shots that I couldn't include because it just wasn't in perfect focus, so be diligent and keep trying.  The art in this group in mind blowing.

Thanks for playing.  I appreciate all the photos you all posted.

Feast your eyes.....

Tianna Schlabach of Shabby Anna Soap

Vito Halagic

Marianne Rice

Michelle Rhoades of Mossy Creek Soaps

Tanya Chappell of Titania's Dreamy Delights

Kenna Cote of Amathia Soapworks

Heidi Bott

Chris Erkine of Wax and Soapy Water

Robin C. Herz

Tiggy Fiander of Future Primitive Soap

Andrea Gurlach

Hepzi Amelia Evans of Cleanse With Benefits

Juli 'Apthorpe' Denike of Inspiri Body

Lysa Luna of Sugar & Spite Bathery

Lina Vilniskyte

Merilyn Konnerth

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tupelo, My Guardian Angel : A Retrospective

I know this is completely off topic, but .... Tupelo is my dog. 


You can take all the tea in China
Put it in a big brown bag for me
Sail right around the seven oceans
Drop it straight into the deep blue sea
She's as sweet as tupelo honey
She's an angel of the first degree
She's as sweet as tupelo honey
Just like honey from the bee 

- Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison


It's also cool that it's the name of Elvis Presley's birthplace.  She is a rescue dog and was the runt of her litter of unknown origin.  She came at a disruptive time, so I call her my guardian angel because she is the love I didn't know I was missing.

This is her at 8 weeks old, when we adopted her. 

April 2012

True Friends

August 2013

Mutt Mug