Kiss Pour Winners

February 2021 Soap Challenge

The Kiss Pour technique was first introduced to the soapmaking community by our guest teacher, Joanne Watkins, for the Design Mania Contest held by Making Soap, Candles & Cosmetics Magazine in 2019.  It is based on an acrylic paint pouring technique by the same name, and creates the most amazing fine lines and feathery swirls!  

The two competitive categories for the challenge this month were Beginner and Experienced.  The guidelines were the same for both; beginners were designated as those who had made fewer than 50 batches of cold process soap or had been making cold process soap for less than a year, and experienced were designated as everyone else.  Those who qualified as beginners could choose to enter either category if they wished, although the majority chose to enter the beginner category.

Once again, we have a brand-new sponsor this month.  Stardust Micas carries a wide variety of cosmetic grade, color stable micas that are vegan friendly and cruelty free.  They distribute their products via Amazon!  They are providing gift certificate prizes toward their products for the top three voted winners both categories, plus two Sponsor’s Choice prizes for the bonus category!

The Kiss Pour technique is a bit tricky as it must be poured at just the right trace.  Too thin and the colors get muddy.  Too thick and the colors don’t feather together or create fine lines.  Even so, we have some really excellent results in both categories!

Let’s start with the Beginner category this month!  Congratulations goes to Aparna Kumari in California, our grand prize winner!  Aparna did an amazing job with her entry that was inspired by a sunset over the sea.  The colors feather together beautifully without mixing:

Eventide by Aparna Kumari

Such a fantastic job!  Aparna wins a $50 gift certificate from Stardust Micas!  The photo is linked to her Instagram post where you can read more about her soap and see her inspiration photo.

In second place we have Matylida Holtmann in Germany who has used a variety of contrasting colors to create her “Gentle Touch” entry.  They feather together in such interesting ways, and Matylda notes in her Instagram post that planing the soap reveals “unbelievable results”!

Gentle Touch by Matylda Holtmann

Her prize is a $35 gift certificate from Stardust Micas!  Woo hoo!  Be sure to check out her Instagram post with more gorgeous photos of her soap, linked to the photo above.

Third place goes to Ange Sorrell in Australia.  Her brightly colored “Space Oddity” entry has excellent thin lines and high contrasting colors that really stand out:

Space Oddity by Ange Sorrell

Ange’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Stardust Micas – very cool!  (Photo not linked)

Next up are the Recognition Awards for the Beginner category.  Best Technique goes to Denise Ramirez in California for her entry titled “Star Trails.”  The fine wispy lines are so consistent throughout her bars, and the contrast of the colors really makes those fine lines stand out.

Star Trails by Denise Ramirez

I was also impressed with how closely her soap resembles the inspiration photo in her Instagram post which is linked to the photo above.

The Best Use of Color Award goes to Alyssa Avant in Arkansas for her amazing “Fire & Ice” soap!  Sometimes titanium dioxide can make your soap set up faster, and in this case, those portions of white soap really stood out against the other colors, enhancing rather than detracting from the design:

Fire & Ice by Alyssa Avant

I was also impressed by the well-mixed colorants, the number of colors included, and how they represent the opposite phenomenons of fire and ice without being muddied.  The photo is linked to Alyssa’s one-minute video of the making of the soap on Facebook.  Super fun to watch!

The Best Presentation Award goes to someone who has done an excellent job on their photography and presented their soaps in a way that is visually pleasing.  Congratulations to Angela Lussow in Wisconsin for creating such an amazing photo of her “Summer Strawberry Kiss” soaps!  The photo is flawless in focus, all soaps are well-lit with a dark background that really highlights the main attraction:

Summer Strawberry Kiss by Angela Lussow

Each soap has been meticulously planed and beveled, and the stacks of soap are both symmetrical and show off multiple angles.  Click on the photo above to see Angela’s Instagram post with even more beautiful photos and information about these soaps.

Now we can take a look at the winners from the Experienced category!  This was such a tight contest as there were so many fantastic entries!!  Huge congratulations to Wan-Ting Gonzalez in California for a stunning highly feathered entry based on the five elements metal, wood, water, fire and earth.  She also wins the Best Technique award as she accomplished her design with ten colors, and even did a bit of a spin swirl after pouring!

The 5 Elements (V1) by Wan-Ting Gonzalez

Wan-Ting has earned a $50 gift certificate from Stardust Micas – amazing job! Click on the photo for more information about her soap on Instagram.

In second place we have Pam Carver in North Carolina who created really excellent fine lines in her “Polar Vortex” soap!  I love how consistent the lines are throughout:

Polar Vortex by Pam Carver

Pam is a long-time member of the Club, so it’s very exciting for me to see her in the top three for the first time!!  Her prize is a $35 gift certificate from Stardust Micas – hooray!  She made another batch for the challenge as well, and you can see it on her Facebook post that is linked to the photo above.

Third place goes to another long-time member of the Club, Lisa Gillespie of Courageous Soap in Colorado!  Lisa has won several Sponsor’s Choice awards, but this is her first time in the top three as well!  Her interpretation of the kiss pour includes several layers of feathery swirls in contrasting colors to represent “Day & Night.”

Day & Night by Courageous Soap

Congratulations to Lisa for winning a $25 gift certificate from Stardust Micas! Be sure to click on the photo to see her Instagram post with more photos and a pouring video!

Next up: the rest of the Recognition Awards for the Experienced category!  (Can I just say how difficult it was to choose these out of so many outstanding entries this month?)  After looking through all the entries and noting which ones had super clean backgrounds, well-focused soaps that were also cleanly planed, beveled, and beautifully arranged, I finally decided that the Best Presentation award goes to Julie DeNicola of Simply Original Soaps in Florida for her gorgeous Sugar Mint Kisses soap and photo:

Sugar Mint Kisses by Simply Original Soaps

Julie did an excellent job on the photo lighting, and choosing a background that makes the brightly colored soaps truly stand out.  Click on the photo to see her post on Instagram with more lovely photos of this soap and three others she made for the challenge.

Next is the Best Use of Color Award.  Again, I looked for excellent contrasting and well-mixed colors that are not muddied.  The more the better!  Angelique Heilingers in Switzerland demonstrated control of a wide variety of colors in her Rainbow Kisses entry: 

Rainbow Kisses by Angelique Heiligers

Anglique documented every layer of this eight-layer kiss pour soap!  Be sure to check out her Instagram post with all the details by clicking on the photo.

Finally, as I mentioned before, there weren’t many who qualify as beginners who entered the Experienced category, but I felt it was worth recognizing one who created a truly fantastic kiss pour soap. Silke Johns in the UK wins the Best Soap Newbie award for her stunning soap with super fine line swirls:

A Whole New Whirl by Silke Johns

Silke has more information and photos of her soap on her Instagram post which is linked to this photo.  Be sure to check it out!

Finally, we have the Bonus Category Sponsor’s Choice awards!  The first one goes to Whitney Schneider of Cheeky Goat Soapery in Florida.  Shane from Stardust Micas says, “What intrigues us most about the Kiss Pour technique is the sharp fluid lines you can create. In the entry titled ‘Ocean Kiss’ the thin lines reminded us of tree rings from an old, storied tree. The colors flow into an oceanic scene with abrupt and turbulent contrast.”

Ocean Kiss by Cheeky Goat Soapery

Whitney wins a $20 gift certificate from Stardust Micas – so awesome!  Click on the photo to read more about she made this soap on her Facebook post.

The other winner is Irina Beketova of IB Organics in Texas. Shane says, “The ‘Strelitzia’ also known as a ‘Bird of Paradise’ flower, looks just like this entry!! The wispy black lines define the brilliance of this triadic color scheme.”

Bird of Paradise by IB Organics

Irina also wins a $20 gift certificate from Stardust Micas!  Woo hoo!  The photo is linked to her Instagram post with more photos of the cut soaps as well as a beautiful photo of the wet soap in the mold.

The rest of the entries for the Beginner, Experienced and Bonus categories are at the bottom of this post!

Registration opens up for the March and April challenges tomorrow!!  For March, we are doing something completely different, as it will be a theme challenge with absolutely no names or identifying information linked to the entries!  The two categories are “Alice in Wonderland” and “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.”  Our sponsors for the March challenge are LiluSoap Tools and Lovin Soap!  This is your opportunity to get as creative as possible!  I’ve created these soaps for the video tutorials, but you can use any design technique that you like:

Cheshire Cat and Chocolate Factory soaps by Amy Warden

You’ll have the option to sign up for March only, or both March and April.  Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more info and to sign up for notifications!

The rest of the Bonus category submissions can be found HERE.  Check out the Beginner and Experienced submissions in the order they were voted below:

Beginner Category

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Experienced Category