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First Mica line = epic fail

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Buckscent

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Major fail, I think I got it to thick, and not even. I used a regular sifter to put it on with and it was 3 times more round than the mold and I am trying to pour the mica from the jar into the sifter, just wasn't good. What do you all use to put the mica in and get it as a consistant thin line. Also it got all over the side of the top part of the mold, tried to clean and got smeared made it worse. Any suggestions/help please



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ibct1969

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I have never tried this, but I have seen it done beautifully by Zahida- Handmade in Florida [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzjhvNDneQk[/ame]
It looks like she's using this -https://www.amazon.com/HIC-Infuser-Stainless-Steel-Carded/dp/B000I1ZZ24/ref=sr_1_10?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1479433337&sr=1-10&keywords=tea+infuser
 

cmzaha

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I use one of these do-dads . . . I think its for making tea with loose tea leaves
It is a tea spoon. I can't help with the mica line because I do not do them. I have never had a soap given to me with a mica line that did not eventually seperate, which is why I do not do mica lines
 

DeeAnna

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You did use too much. It does not need to be perfectly applied to look great when the soap is done. In fact if you strive for perfection, you'll probably muff the pencil line by adding too much colorant.

I would have cut your soap with the loaf lying on its side to reduce the smearing.

I use a small, fine mesh strainer to spread the colorant. Doriette's tea strainer is perfect.

I don't shake the strainer from side to side -- that's much too forceful. Instead I gently tap the side of the strainer with my fingertips as I move the strainer over the soap. Yes, some of the colorant gets onto the sides of the mold. If that really bothers you, cover the mold sides with waxed paper (then remove the wax paper after your done.) Or do what I do -- just work carefully and clean up when done as best you can.

I want a very thin layer of colorant on the soap. I want to see the powder become wetted completely through in a minute or two at most. If it doesn't look wet, there is a good chance the soap layers will not stick. If the colorant stays dry looking or seems overly thick, I will scratch the powder into the soap batter using a toothpick or fork with the goal of lightly mixing it into the top 1/8" (2-3 mm) of batter. This will disrupt the pencil line some, but it will still look okay.

I'd rather have a not quite perfect pencil line than a soap that comes unstuck. :)
 
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Buckscent

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You did use too much. It does not need to be perfectly applied to look great when the soap is done. In fact if you strive for perfection, you'll probably muff the pencil line by adding too much colorant.

I would have cut your soap with the loaf lying on its side to reduce the smearing.

I use a small, fine mesh strainer to spread the colorant. Doriette's tea strainer is perfect.

I don't shake the strainer from side to side -- that's much too forceful. Instead I gently tap the side of the strainer with my fingertips as I move the strainer over the soap. Yes, some of the colorant gets onto the sides of the mold. If that really bothers you, cover the mold sides with waxed paper (then remove the wax paper after your done.) Or do what I do -- just work carefully and clean up when done as best you can.

I want a very thin layer of colorant on the soap. I want to see the powder become wetted completely through in a minute or two at most. If it doesn't look wet, there is a good chance the soap layers will not stick. If the colorant stays dry looking or seems overly thick, I will scratch the powder into the soap batter using a toothpick or fork with the goal of lightly mixing it into the top 1/8" (2-3 mm) of batter. This will disrupt the pencil line some, but it will still look okay.

I'd rather have a not quite perfect pencil line than a soap that comes unstuck. :)
As usual, good detail and advise... Thanks DeeAnna.
 

doriettefarm

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Input on this one: looks like it would be good with the pointed end. Can direct colorant better maybe.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/st...ical-strainer/1043953851?Keyword=Tea+strainer
That would probably work as long as the mesh is pretty fine. The main reason I like the one I posted (and own) is because I can stick it into the mica bag like Jaws. Whenever I try to spoon mica into the Jaws device, I seem to make a big mess and more mica falls thru than I intended (so don't load it while holding over your soap). Once you get it loaded, just ever so slightly tap the side and you'll get a light dusting over the soap like DeeAnna described.
 

DeeAnna

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I would worry about a cone shaped sieve for this purpose -- the powder may pack into the cone rather than stay fluffy and loose. If it packs, it may be harder to get that light dusting you want over the soap.

IMO, the sieve should have a flat or bowl shaped bottom, so the powder can be gently fluffed and moved over the mesh by gentle taps from side to side. If you think about pastry chefs who dust with powdered sugar, the ones I've seen use a wide bowl-shaped sieve.

Input on this one: looks like it would be good with the pointed end. Can direct colorant better maybe.

https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/st...ical-strainer/1043953851?Keyword=Tea+strainer
 
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christost7

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Ouch, sorry about that....bummer.

You probably made the line way thicker than you should.

I read somewhere that a good tip is when you apply the mica, you should be able to see plenty of the soap under the layer.

Apart from the line failure the soap looks great. Hope you can save it somehow.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Oh no! Oh, how that ever brings back memories of my first ever mica line. lol The heartbreak of my epic fail almost put me off of ever trying another one, but I got back up on the proverbial horse and was able to make it work to my utter relief, but that first one still haunts me and I still get nervous to this day every time I attempt another one. lol

I use a fine-mesh strainer from Mountain Rose Herbs which works perfectly for me. It's 4" from rim to rim measured from the outside top, but the mesh part itself is 3" from top inside rim to inside rim. Oh, and I ever so slightly flattened the bottom of the mesh to give me the ability to get an even sprinkling over a more wider surface area. I've found that the more conical the bottom of the strainer, the harder time I have getting a light, even coating across the surface of my soap (i.e., the mica ends up heavier/more concentrated in certain parts than in others).

I apply my mica just like the Soapmaking 101 lady does in this video:

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWfL8dPl7IE[/ame]

Oh, and for good measure, I gently blow on the top of any bit of the mica coating that doesn't look wet, so as to apply a slight pressure to it to help it sink a little better into the soap beneath.


IrishLass :)
 

penelopejane

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I do what DeeAnna and Irish Lass's do except I use a spoon instead of a mesh shaker (because I don't have one). The important part is that it has to soak in.
To clean up I wipe the inside of the mold down as best I can with a damp cloth.
 

Buckscent

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Gotta love soaping, always new stuff to try and perfect.... I am glad I am going down this road with all of you, Thank You
 

Todd_in_Minnesota

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My first try at this, I had the problem that the mica line was much thicker in the center of my mold than at the edges, because I was 'tinking' my tea-strainer more toward the center to avoid mica all over the edges of the mold.

My solution was to cut cardboard (from the back of a pad of paper) into strips about 3" wide and as long as both sides and both ends of the rectangular mold; 4 pieces in all. Then I masking-taped the cardboard pieces together end-to-end so they just fit inside the top of the mold, and leaned out. Like this (if it renders right):

\ <- cardboard
| <- edge of mold
|_____

With the cardboard shields in place I could sprinkle mica evenly right up to the edge of the mold and any that would have fallen outside the mold fell onto the cardboard instead. Then I could just 'tink' the cardboard and let the over-sprinkle fall back in where it belonged.

It wasn't perfect, but it was cheap and easy and it worked pretty well.
 
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