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