Clam Shell Technique Winners

We had guest teacher Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks show us how to make her Clam Shell Technique. It is such a mesmerizing pour! Many members talked about how addicting it was to watch the clam shells form and ended up making multiple batches. The challenge was sponsored by Elements Bath & Body, providing gift certificate prizes for both the regular and advanced categories and we are so very grateful for their support! They offer a wide variety of wholesale soap making supplies, bath and body supplies, recipes, packaging, and accessories to suit any soap making or cosmetic requirements. Teri has created several tutorials for their Learning Center as well.

Let’s take a look at the winners! Starting with the advanced category, these soaps are made in full sized batches:

Congratulations to Margo Long of Bearprint Soaps in Oregon for her absolutely stunning Clam Fest soap! She is our grand prize winner and I’ve also chosen her entry to receive the Best Use of Color award as the bright red and orange is just so striking with the black!

Clam Fest by Bearprint Soaps

Margo wins a $50 gift certificate from Elements – so awesome!! You can click on the photo to read more about how she made this soap (plus three others!) on her Facebook post.

Second place goes to Lisa Cunningham of I Dream in Soap in the UK. Lisa created this beautiful soap she calls Pockets of Gold with gorgeous colors and excellent feathering:

Pockets of Gold by I Dream in Soap

Lisa’s prize is a $35 gift certificate from Elements – fantastic!! The photo is linked to Lisa’s blog post with more information about how she made this soap plus one other with this technique. Be sure to check it out!

In third place we have Holly Shelton of Kapia Mera Soap Co. in Tennessee. Holly’s Multicolor Clamshell soap features several shades of natural colorants beefed up with a splash of oxides.

Multicolor Clamshell by Kapia Mera Soap Co.

Holly wins a $25 gift certificate from Elements – congratulations!! She also fell victim to the addictive nature of this pour, creating multiple batches changing just a few variables each time and documenting her results on her blog. Just click on the photo to check out the information, as well as a link to the video of Holly pouring this soap!

Elements Bath & Body has chosen Toxicity by Leila Hazou, The Mad Soaper in Pennsylvania for their Sponsor’s Choice award. They said, “Leila’s entry is so vibrant! The bars have such great depth to them. We love the feathering too!  Fantastic job, Leila!”

Toxicity by Mad Soaper

What a beautiful clam shell design!! Leila’s prize is a $20 gift certificate from Elements – woo hoo! Yes, she also made four different attempts at this technique, and you can see them on her Instagram post that is linked to the photo.

The rest of the recognition awards for the advanced category are as follows:

Best Technique goes to Ellen Chau of Vanilla Garden Soap in Hong Kong! Her soap design is wonderfully consistent with excellent feathering throughout. She also created rounded clam shell designs, which is not easy to do for the advanced version!

Black raspberry vanilla clam babies by Vanilla Garden Soap

Well done, Ellen! Be sure to click on the photo to see the video of her pouring this soap on her Instagram post!

The Best Presentation award goes to Debi Olsen of Me Do It Meself in Colorado for her absolutely lovely Clamberry Salsa soap and photo:

Clamberry Salsa by Me Do It Meself

The soaps are super clean with nice, fresh bevels and the photo is well-lit and focused. The soaps are placed with just enough space between them to create a cluster that is eye-catching and not crowded. Be sure to click on the photo of the soap to see Debi’s Instagram post!

The Best Soap Newbie award goes to someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made fewer than 50 batches. I’m always impressed when a newbie chooses to participate in the advanced category! This award goes to Tami Fucci for her Purple Shell Life soap:

Purple Shell Life by Tami Fucci

She did a great job on her clam shells with nice, feathery swirls, and the purple and white color palette is simple, yet striking. Very nice work, Tami! (Photo not linked)

For the regular category, the technique was made as a half batch, poured in a log mold as though it was a slab or tray mold:

Grand Prize in the regular category goes to Marina Baranov in Kentucky for her captivating Vintage Seashells soap, made with two tones of teal, yellow and orange, with added gray and white accents! All the nuances of color create amazing shading:

Vintage Seashells by Marina Baranov

Congratulations to Marina for winning a $50 gift certificate from Elements! Check out her Instagram post (includes a link to a YouTube video of her creating this soap) by clicking on the photo.

In second place we have Tiziana Cherubini in Italy with her fabulous Sea Shells soap! She also incorporated beautiful nuances of color and has such fantastic consistent shell patterns:

Sea Shells by Tiziana Cherubini

Tiziana wins a $35 gift certificate from Elements for her creation! Be sure to click on the photo to read more about it on her Facebook post.

Third place goes to Kim Westby in Washington State for her lovely soap she likes to simply call “Shelly” which is made with two in-the-pot swirls:

Shelly by Kim Westby

Congratulations to Kim for winning a $25 gift certificate from Elements! Take a look at more photos on her Instagram post by clicking on the photo above.

The Sponsor’s Choice award for the regular category goes to Olivia Delbarre of Therapy Nature in Canada for her stunning soap, “What the shell!” The Elements team says, “Olivia’s entry is so visually balanced and pleasing! The classic black and white combination is stunning! What the shell?  Ha-ha. Cute name. Well done, Olivia!”

What the shell! by Therapy Nature

Definitely a beautiful soap! Olivia wins a $20 gift certificate from Elements – fantastic! Click on the photo to read more about this soap on her Facebook post.

Recognition awards for the regular category are up next!

The Best Technique award goes to Sara Annala in Finland for her Little Clamshells soap. Sara did a wonderful job of creating consistent, feathery clam shells in her soap:

Little Clamshells by Sara Annala

Click on the photo to watch her make this soap on YouTube!

The Best Use of Color award goes to Sophie Louis in Saint Lucia for her brightly colored soap called “Hope.” I love the wonderful contrast of the purple and neon green with a pop of white!

Hope by Sophie Louis

The photo is linked to Sophie’s Instagram post with more photos and information about her soap.

Best Presentation goes to Mandy Welch in Alabama. She did a fabulous job presenting her Blue Skies soap:

Blue Skies by Mandy Welch

Mandy’s cute little square soaps look amazing in their symmetrical line-up! The photo has excellent lighting with very minimal shadowing. The soaps are well-focused and centered and the background has interesting textures while also being just out of focus so that the soap remains the star of the show. (Photo not linked)

Finally, the Best Soap Newbie award for the regular category goes to Megan Manzella in Indiana for her Pink and Yellow Clamshell soap. The pattern is very consistent, and the batter is very smooth and fluid throughout showing an excellent control of trace.

Pink and Yellow Clamshell by Megan Manzella

This photo is linked to Megan’s Facebook post featuring three more batches she made with this technique!

The rest of the entries are posted in the order they were voted at the bottom of this post. 

The good news is that I’ve put together a challenge for April now that many of our previous activities have been canceled and we are stuck at home! We will be re-visiting the Tall & Skinny Shimmy, originally taught by Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso in November 2015. I’m bringing it back with an added twist for the advanced category! Custom Craft Tools will sponsor both categories with generous gift certificate prizes for the winners, plus 10% off for all who submit an entry.

Tall & Skinny Shimmy by Creative Soap by Steso

You will need a tall & skinny mold for this challenge, but if you don’t have one, you can make one from a cereal box! (Recommended width: 2″ or 50 mm) Registration will open this Monday March 30th. If you haven’t signed up for notifications, you can do that HERE.

And now here are the rest of the entries for March:

Advanced Category:

Regular Category: