Hybrid Stained Glass Winners

June 2021 Soap Challenge

For the June challenge, Sharon Czekala of Great Lakes Natural Soap Company showed us her technique for creating hybrid stained glass designs using a combination of cold process and melt and pour soap.  Members could choose to create their stained glass designs by applying a pattern to the base soap and piping over it, or by piping them free-hand.  They had to provide a photo (or video) of their work in progress to demonstrate which option they chose. We referred to the two competitive categories as “Pattern” or “No Pattern.”  Members also had the option to create their own transparent soap from scratch or use a pre-made melt and pour base.  We also had the non-competitive bonus category with beautiful entries as well.

Our sponsor for this challenge is Voyageur Soap and Candle in British Columbia, Canada. They carry thousands of products including raw materials, cosmetic packaging, essential oils, cosmetic bases, natural soaps and kits for making and enjoying your own bath and skin care products, mineral makeup, nail polish, natural wax candles and more.  I have really enjoyed working with this company!  They are providing gift certificate prizes for the top three voted winners and Sponsor’s Choice winners in the competitive categories, plus another Sponsor’s Choice winner in the bonus category!

Let’s start with the entries in the Pattern category!

Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Julie DeNicola of Simply Original Soaps in Florida for her octopus stained glass design, aptly named “Mr. Eight Legs.”  The contrast between the orange octopus and blue background really makes this a stand-out piece.  She’s done an excellent job with such a large batch of soap, and the design truly resembles colored glass!

Mr Eight Legs by Simply Original Soaps

Although Julie has participated in the challenges for several years now, this is the first time she has placed in the top three and she went all the way to the top!!  Her prize is a $50 gift certificate from Voyageur!  Click on the photo to see Julie’s Instagram post with more information about how she made her soap.

In second place we have Lynette Olsen in California who created a stunning sunset on the water with an entire rainbow of colors!  She claims she almost gave up on it, but I’m so glad she didn’t!  It’s such an incredible design: 

SunSail by Lynette Olsen

Lynette is another long-time member of the Club and this is her third time placing in the top three.  She is quite the talented soap artist!  Lynette wins a $35 gift certificate from Voyageur – way to go!  Check out her Instagram post with more gorgeous photos of her soap as well as the long line of mica colors she used, linked to the photo above.

Third place goes to Elena Tan in Malaysia with her incredibly beautiful Blooming Tulips stained glass design!  The translucent design has a bit of a shimmer that looks so much like real glass, and her piping is impeccable:

Blooming Tulips by Elena Tan

Elena is new to the Challenge Club this year, and also new to soapmaking in general which makes her results even more impressive!  Her prize is a $25 gift certificate from Voyageur – so awesome!  This photo is also linked to her Instagram post with more photos and information about her soap.

For the Sponsor’s Choice award in the Pattern category, the Voyageur Soap and Candle team has chosen Robin Grieco in Arizona for her lovely Proud as a Peacock soap.  Tammy says, “Simply a work of art!  The piping and picture created is so clean and detailed, and the shading and choice of colors used make the soap absolutely elegant!”

Proud as a Peacock by Robin Grieco

I had to agree!  The piping is absolutely perfect, the colors are beautifully placed and blended, and the clear top coat applied without any air bubbles.  Therefore, Robin is also the recipient of the Best Technique award!  Congratulations!!  Robin wins a $20 gift certificate from Voyageur – woo hoo!  Click on the photo for more information about her soap and process on her Instagram post!

Next up are the rest of the Recognition Awards for the Pattern category.  Best Use of Color goes to Astrid Kahnt in Germany for her Morning Light entry!  Astrid did a phenomenal job of blending colors to create areas of light and dark.  Even the water has a lighter area where the sun appears to be shining on it!  She has created excellent contrast, and kept the colors really translucent.

Morning Light by Astrid Kahnt

Great job, Astrid!  The photo is linked to her Instagram post with more information about how she made it, including a quick video of how she created the design on her soap.

The Best Presentation award goes to Megan Manzella of Soak Soapworks in Indiana for her very glassy Oak Park soap!  It’s quite difficult to photograph transparent soap without having the light reflect off of it.  Megan did a great job of showing her soap with as much light as possible and avoiding glare.  I appreciate the light background and how the soap really just looks like stained glass!  Even the white portions showing through give the illusion that the entire soap is transparent, which is really neat.

Oak Park by Soak Soapworks

Be sure to click on the photo for process photos and the inspiration behind her soap on her Instagram post!

The last recognition award is the Best Soap Newbie Award.  This one goes to someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made fewer than 50 batches.  Lezlie Clifton in Texas really impressed me with her soap titled, “The Lady of Shalott.”  After a bit of a rough start, Lezlie found herself really enjoying the process and created something she could be proud of.  I’m really pleased to see her progress since starting the Challenge Club in March!

The Lady of Shalott by Lezlie Clifton

Check out her Instagram post to see all her process photos, and how she altered the original design to fit the challenge by clicking on the photo above.

Let’s take a look at the winners from the “No Pattern” category next!  Our grand prize winner is Sayani Biswas of Cocoon Creations LLC in Texas who created an incredibly intricate freehand design called “Enchanting Lady.”  Sayani has been a regular part of the challenges since March of last year, and I have watched her skills continue to grow!  She has incorporated bright, contrasting colors for her design, as well as an accurate skin tone color, and demonstrates an exceptionally steady hand for her piping:

Enchanting Lady by Sayani Biswas

Sayani wins a $50 gift certificate from Voyageur – congratulations!!  Click on the photo to see a short video and more information about her soap on Instagram.

Second place in the No Pattern category goes to Rebecca Kusza in Indiana for her stunning soap, based on the stained glass artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  She did a lot of practicing to figure out the best way to pipe her design and make the colors pop, and the end result is so worth it!


O my Luve is like a red, red rose by Rebecca Kusza

Rebecca’s prize is a $35 gift certificate from Voyageur!  Please take a moment to click on the photo of her soap and read more about her inspiration and process on her blog post.

In third place we have Michelle Lindberg of Mosaic Garden Soapworks in South Carolina who created a Painted Peacock soap for her entry.  Even though she used to pipe icing on wedding cakes, this was her first experience piping cold process soap!  She did a beautiful job re-creating her inspiration (which is linked to this photo on her Instagram post):

Painted Peacock by Mosaic Garden Soapworks

Michelle’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Voyageur – hooray!  Don’t forget to click on the photo to see her Instagram post.

The Sponsor’s Choice award in the No Pattern category goes to Linda Irawan in Indonesia for her Fairytale soap.  Tammy says, “Amazing detail!  Beautiful individual bars of soap with exceptional detail.  Very impressed by the clean lines of the piping and intricate design and the clarity of the stained-glass colors that were kept bright and vivid against the white base.”

Fairytale by Linda Irawan

Linda wins a $20 gift certificate from Voyageur – way to go!! Click on the photo if you’d like to check out her Instagram post with more information about her soap.

Now we get to do Recognition Awards for the No Pattern category!  For the Best Technique in this category, I have chosen Jill Crane of Little Lather Shack in Texas for her Viva Barcelona stained glass design.  She was inspired by the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Spain, a really gorgeous stained glass ceiling piece!  The piping is super clean and meticulous, and the colors are so beautifully translucent with minimal air bubbles.  The top layer is crystal clear as well:

Viva Barcelona by Little Lather Shack

Click on the photo to see her post on Instagram with lovely photos of her inspiration and process photos of her soap.

Next is the Best Use of Color Award, and I believe Goddess is an awesome choice for this award.  Edgar Kameraki in Mexico created this magnificent soap, showcasing his color blending and transparent soapmaking skills.  She’s a beautiful work of art!

Goddess by Edgar Kameraki

I love the outline around the woman’s form that separates her from the colorful background.  There’s so much blending and shading – all of it done with colored soap! Be sure to check out Edgar’s Instagram post with more photos and a short video of him piping the design free hand by clicking on the photo!

For the Best Presentation award, I’ve chosen California Poppies by Rachel Brinkerhoff of The Raven and the Pear Soapary in California.  Rachel did an excellent job centering her soaps and spacing them equal distance from one another.  The photo is well focused and also well lit, again without glare.  We get an interesting angle to see a hint of what’s underneath while still showing off the beautiful stained glass design on top:

California Poppies by The Raven and the Pear Soapary

Rachel has more information about her soap and some process photos on her Instagram post which is linked to this photo.

The last recognition award is the Best Soap Newbie award!  Again, this goes to someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made fewer than 50 batches.  I am very happy to present this award to Dijana Markus in Bosnia Hercegovina for her Maritime soap!  The design is simple, yet beautiful and modern.  The piping is consistent, the colors are translucent, and the top coat is clear.  The challenge gave her the first opportunity to use melt and pour soap base, and she did a very fine job!

Maritime by Dijana Markus

Excellent work, Dijana!  Read all about her process on Instagram by clicking on the photo.

Finally, we have the Bonus Category Sponsor’s Choice award!  This one goes to Samantha Cave of Prairie Sky Healing Arts in Canada for her soap called “Into the Sunset.”  Tammy says, “This soap was absolutely amazing in its design of the horse and surrounding landscape and how it has captured the essence of stained glass.  The color choices are wonderful and the details are clean and crisp. “

Into the Sunset by Prairie Sky Healing Arts

Samantha wins a $20 gift certificate from Voyageur – love it!  Click on the photo to read more about how she crafted this design on her Instagram post.

The rest of the entries for the Pattern, No Pattern, and Bonus categories are at the bottom of this post!


Registration opens up for the July and August challenges on Monday!!  July’s challenge is all about textured Abstract Art Designs, inspired by palette knife techniques.  We will have two categories with two different sponsors.  The Synthetic category is for those soaps that may contain fragrance or colorants that are skin safe, but not found in nature.  They may be nature identical substances that have been created in a lab to make them safer for use.  This is the soap I made for the Synthetic category:

Abstract Pineapple Scented soap by Amy Warden

This soap was made with Fast Colors from our sponsor for this category, Japan Design Soap Association.  I used several colors from the Rainbow and Candy collections, and I love how bright and bold they are!  They have many different collections available.

The other category is the Natural category, for those who wish to use all natural essential oils, plant-based and other colorants from nature in their soaps.  I have created this soap for the video tutorial in the Natural category:

Abstract Rose Gold soap by Amy Warden

Soap Stamps for You is our sponsor for the natural category.  They specialize in soap stamps and other soap related tools.

You will have the option to sign up for July only, or both July and August.  Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more info about the August challenge and to sign up for notifications!

The rest of the Bonus category submissions can be found HERE.  Check out the Pattern and No Pattern submissions in the order they were voted below:

Pattern Category




No Pattern Category