Ithaca is so…

I make a special line of soaps for Sunny Days of Ithaca. Since the store specializes in local and New York State products, I wanted to make some soaps that really reflect what a kooky diverse place we live in. Town, gown, hippies and conservatives, people from every corner of the globe, vegans and The Piggery. We all live here, and we all pretty much get along. A miracle!

Today I made Ithaca is so… Psychedelic, a bit of homage to our hippie friends and history. The Ithaca area has been home to a number of communes (and probably still is), and even now has a higher-than-usual rate of people with dreads, tie-dyed clothes, and … patchouli. Of course.

In keeping with a soap that is supposed to reflect how weird diverse Ithaca is, it looks a little different every time. The scent is always aggressively patchouli. But the color combination changes a bit each time.


I’m going for a tie dyed, psychedelic effect–not an easy task when working with soap batter. But for me, this is all fun. I use several bright colors, and have tried different layers and swirling techniques. The first couple of batches were a sort of slow lava-lamp type pour. It was nice, but the colors seemed a bit dark to me.

So I’m changing things up now, and using a brighter palette, and a more free-form swirl technique. These are mineral pigments, clays, and activated charcoal.

I used the bright yellow as the background color, then poured each of the other colors in:


Next came the pour into the molds. I probably should have filled each mold half way, then topped off both, to get a more uniform appearance, but again, this is Ithaca. We are anything but uniform in this town!

Of course, we won’t know what it looks like until I cut it tomorrow, but I anticipate some really groovy bars!




  1. Anne-Marie says

    They look so great. Can’t wait to see them cut =)

    • Lesli says

      Oh, I alway post the cuts! Find out what that swirl looks like is the best part.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: