It took me some time to find out what I wanted to do for this month’s Soap Challenge hosted by Amy Warden at Great Cakes Soapworks. After seeing Amy’s tutorial and her beautiful soap I was at a loss what colors to choose. I thought about blue and gold — two colors which come to mind when I hear the word “summer.” I tried them on a soap requested by one of my friends but I really wanted to try using three or more colors as finding the best combination is still a challenge for me.
I also had a bottle of Japanese peppermint essential oil, which has a stronger eye-opening effect than any other mint oil I had tried so far. Japan does not produce many kinds of essential oil but the ones made here often smell somewhat stronger than those produced in other parts of the world. I wish I knew the reason why it is so but am still searching for the answer.
So the bottle of hakka (Japanese peppermint) essential oil and its eye-opening effect was my starting point for this project. Oriental mint sounded good and I tried to find the color combination which would match the name.
Before making this soap, I had used clay-in-oil for top swirling but mica-in-oil was a new technique for me. So I followed the advice of Rurth of Sirona Springs regarding the amount of mica and oil.
Here is the wet soap.
Immediately after swirling the top I worried that the pattern would not stand out after the soap has dried but thanks to the absorption of the oil the pattern stood out set off by the resulting grooves. The colors though became somewhat lighter.
I like how this technique makes the pattern look as if it has been carved into the top surface. I had not been able to achieve the same effect with clay-in-oil top swirl and I guess there is something about the mica which makes the pattern stand out as it does.
For the in-depth swirl I used two colors – copper orange mica and cocoa powder. I ran out of gold mica and could not use any for the in-depth marbling.
To make the mint last, I used a little frankinsence olibanum essential oil and to add a cheerful note to it added a few drops of tangerine, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils.
I cannot wait to see all the works of soapy art this month! And again, thank you, Amy for this wonderful opportunity to try something new — I love how the techniques you choose for the challenges always strengthen our motivation to use new colors, try new shapes, create new soaps in ways have not used before…
I wish you all good luck and a beautiful weekend!