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Tutorial: Cranberry Pomegranate Elemental Swirl with Gold Mica line

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three bars of cranberry pomegranate soap

This post comes to you courtesy of Veronica.

When I discovered a Cranberry and Pomegranate fragrance oil at Aussie Candle Supplies, I couldn't resist. Two of my favourite smells combined together!

I immediately began design planning: green, white and red just seemed a logical choice.

Now, elemental swirls! I didn't know that's what they were called until I read Kenna's Rainbow Elemental Swirl tutorial, but I've been doing a few of them lately and I must say, I think they're my favourite. Relatively simple to pull off, they end up looking absolutely fabulous as an end result.

As a side note, this soap sells like hot cakes for me. The combination of the colours and the scent just work so beautifully together.

I'm Australian, so I work entirely in the metric system. I use Google to convert the recipe weights into oz for those of you in the US, but as always, I advocate running everything through a lye calculator just in case.

Cranberry Pomegranate Elemental Swirl Tutorial

This recipe has been resized to fit a 10 inch Bramble Berry silicone mould. I made a large batch (3 x 8 inch moulds, or 2.4kg of base oils), but I’ve resized this recipe down to fit a 10 inch silicone mould, which is 1000g (35 oz) of base oils, or 1.4l (50 oz) of soap batter.

Soap Formula Used

  • 350g Olive Oil (12.3 oz)
  • 200g Rice Bran Oil (7 oz)
  • 200g Coconut Oil (7 oz)
  • 100g Shea Butter (3.5 oz)
  • 100g Macadamia Oil (3.5 oz)
  • 50g Castor Oil (1.76 oz)
  • 311g Distilled Water (11 oz)
  • 133g Sodium Hydroxide (4.69 oz)

Extra Additives

  • 0.1g Tussah Silk Fibre (leave this out if you're vegan)
  • 15g table salt
  • a little cosmetic glitter if you like

Fragrance

  • 40g of Cranberry Pomegranate Fragrance Oil. Mine came from Aussie Candle Supplies, and is soap and skin safe.

Colours

I used micas from My Mica Obsession, here in Australia. You can use whatever colours your heart desires.

  • 2g Titanium Dioxide
  • 1/2 tsp Desire Mica (dark red)
  • 1/2 tsp Elusive Mica (forest-y green)
  • 1/2 tsp Gold Mica (for the pencil line)

Extra tools

In addition to all your regular soapmaking supplies, a good mica line needs a fine mesh sieve. You want the pencil line mica to dust on gently without clumping.

PREP WORK

In a lye safe jug, add the finely cut silk and salt to your water, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Add the lye, and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool. I like to sit my lye jug in a cold water bath to cool it faster.

Weigh and melt your oils.

Weigh out your colourant (EXCEPT the gold mica - we use this dry) into soap safe jugs - mix the micas with a little of your soaping oils, and your titanium dioxide with a little water (or oil - depending on your titanium dioxide.)

Add your fragrance oil to your soaping oils.

 Desire Mica in Oil. Needs more stirring. 

Shea Butter and Coconut Oil ready for melting.

GETTING STARTED

When everything is around 45C, you can begin.

Gently pour your lye solution into your oils and stick blend briefly. Add your titanium dioxide to the batter, stick blending until you hit light trace. This helps disperse the TD entirely, hopefully preventing flecks.

Once you're at light trace, switch to a spatula and give the batter a good stir, scraping the edges of your soaping pot/jug well to prevent any oils not being mixed through entirely.

Pour 1/3 of your soap batter into the jug containing your Elusive (green) mica, and 1/3 of the batter into the jug containing Desire (red) mica.

Stir well, until the soap is uniformly coloured.

 Soap Batter poured into the Desire mica. I haven't stirred it yet.

  Soap batter coloured with Elusive Mica.

THE DESIGN

Now comes the fun part!

Pour your green soap into the bottom of your mould. Pop your gold mica into your fine mesh sieve and very gently tap gold mica all over the surface of the green. You want the soap to be pretty well covered, but not thickly. We don't want our soap to fall apart when we cut it! With mica lines, less is always more.

Tap down the mould gently.

Pour your red soap batter into the white batter jug, a little at each compass point, and then some in the centre. Using your spatula, give the red and white soap one quick stir. Just one! This is your standard ITP swirl.

Carefully pour the red and white batter into your mould. I didn't want a straight mica line, so I used my spatula to push some of the red/white mixture through the mica line.

Texture your tops and sprinkle on a little glitter for interest!

Insulate your soap and leave it to gel. My cranberry pomegranate isn't an accelerator or heater, so leaving it to gel was an easy choice.

After 24 hours, you can unmould and cut your soap.

 Gold mica dusted onto the bottom layer of batter.

 All filled up! Pre-texturing

 Textured tops.

 Glitter added.

 24 hours old, gelled, and ready for cutting.

 Such pretty tops.

The Cranberry Pomegranate recipe is an original formula created by Veronica Foale for Modern Soapmaking. It is palm-free, and uses a 6% superfat and a 30% lye solution. To make this recipe vegan-friendly, omit the Tussah Silk. Feel free to adjust as needed!

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