Here is my entry for this month’s soap challenge. We had to cut out templates and use them to sculpt the soap into a layered design.
I had a look around for some inspiration and I came up with the idea of a skyline silhouette. I wanted a design where the skyline reflection was mirrored as a reflection in the sea underneath.
I found a skyline which had a shape that I would be able to replicate. As I needed three sculpted layers for the challenge, I chose to make a layer for the reflection, a layer for the buildings in the foreground and the layer for the buildings in the background.
I had a first attempt at this and found that it was much easier to make indented sculptured layers than raised sections as they kept dropping and wouldn’t hold their shape very well which meant the tallest tower sank. I decided to make the soap in two halves and stick them together with black soap to get the most defined layers.
I used clear polypropylene sheets to trace out my design and glued matchsticks onto the back of sections that needed the most stability.
I made the top half first by pouring the red and orange sky, then creating the pale grey background buildings, then the foreground dark grey buildings.
I left this section to set overnight then poured the blue sea layer. I allowed the black to set up until it was just firm enough to hold the soap I had made the day before. Then I pasted the two together with some more wet black soap.
I allowed the block to set overnight and cut the following day.
I used a 40% lye concentration for these soaps as it makes nice hard bars that can be unmoulded and cut quickly and I used a fragrance that accelerates a little called cashmere. I don’t normally use it for cold process soap as it traces way too quickly. I dropped in a small amount bit by bit into the batter to prevent it accelerating too quickly on me and found that it didn’t trace as quickly as I had wanted or expected. I may try this another time when trying to work with fragrances that move really fast.
Here is my first attempt where the upright buildings weren’t as defined as I would have liked and my two shades of grey were too similar to each other.
I hope you like my entry. Another really interesting challenge and a technique that I will definitely use in the future!
This is my new blog platform attached to my shiny new website. I hope you like it! For those of you who already follow me over on blogspot, I will be posting on here instead from now on.
If you are a new reader, then please feel free to pop over to the old blog at http://thesaponista.blogspot.co.uk/ where you will find some tutorials which may be of interest if you are a soapmaker and some posts showing examples of my soap art.
This is designed to be a place for me to show you the art based soap work that I do and provide information to those of you wishing to have a go at making soap yourself. Occasionally, I will be offering you the chance to purchase these extremely limited edition designs in my online store. However, as my company is based in Europe, we have very tight regulations regarding the sale of cosmetics, and every bar that is made has to be certified by a cosmetic chemist at an extortionate fee before they can be listed for sale. This means that unlike some of my other soapmaking friends across the globe, I am unable to share every one of my unique artistic designs with you.
Soapmaking really is my passion, both the design side, and producing functional recipes using only the best ingredients. I look forward to sharing this with you and if you have any questions then please feel free to comment below or drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This month it is my turn to run the SMF soap challenge. I chose the topic of mosaic soaps as I haven’t seen it done for a while and I like the versatility of the technique. I can’t wait to see what all the soapers who choose to participate will come up with! I absolutely love seeing all the creativity and talent from the soapers we have on the forum.
Here is the mosaic soap I made for the demonstration of the technique.
You can find the video tutorial along with lots of other tutorial videos for the other challenges that have been organised previously here –
Once the challenge is over at the end of the month, I will add a link to the entries and the winner. Feel free to pop over to the forum, we are a friendly bunch and if you participate on the threads for a while then you will be able to enter the competitions.
This month, the challenge on www.soapmakingforum.com was a tough one for me. Were given several images of birds to look at and asked to choose one that stood out to us. Then using colours from the photo, we had to take a feature or a feeling or something about the picture that struck us and translate it into our soap design.
I chose the image of the bird shown below
The bird picture I have used is the one that most appealed to me. I love the colours of the birds feathers combined with the green background of the leaves. The colours I chose for my soap were a green from the background of the image and a couple of shades of blue from the feathers combined with the black and white which are also colours from the feathers.
I love the way the birds feathers are splayed open and the image gives a feeling of complete freedom. I have tried to reflect the lines of the long wing feathers in my soap design. I made it in a square soap mould, by placing dividers into the corners and filling with the different shades of color, then I filled the rest of the mould with the green and used a skewer to create the lines. My soap is scented with a mixture of pine and cedarwood essential oils with a touch of juniper as I felt it went well with the overall look and feel of the soap.
Here is the finished design, I hope you like it!
This month’s challenge was incredibly challenging for me. I had so many goes at this trying to nail it, I think I will have enough soap to wash with for fifty years! I finally achieved a droplet that I am happy enough with to enter so here it is!
I only poured a small amount of batter into the bottom of the mould before pouring in my droplet colours as I like the droplets which have a long thin stem.
My bars are scented with a blend of spearmint, lavender and rosemary essential oils hence the mica colours that were chosen.
The mica was purchased from http://www.u-makeitup.com/ and the colours used were purple passion, lime, dreamy aquamarine and some titanium dioxide and activated charcoal for the black.
I thought I would also post some of my other attempts in order to show you how challenging I found this challenge to be. Getting a droplet shape was not easy for me!
I loved the colour of these and all the layers within the droplet, In real life they look much brighter and more vibrant. I was gutted that the outline turned out wobbly. I think it was because I poured the sides with a squeeze bottle rather than a jug so the pressure forced the batter into the mould unevenly.
There were also lots of other attempts, some with no droplet at all, others with triangular shaped patterns and one where I used an accelerating fragrance which set up on me so fast that all I got was tiger stripes across the middle of the bar.
And here as promised are my other six attempts!!!
Thank you for another great challenge Amy 🙂