The Mirror Glaze Design technique is based off the gorgeous mirror glaze cakes and desserts you may have seen in the past couple of years. The trick behind the mirror glaze cakes is that they start with a frozen “cake” then the gelatinous glaze sets up as it is poured over the cold cake.
Meagan Dearmon of Avery Grey Soapery was the first to create a tutorial for this technique with cold process soap, which is definitely the most shiny when it is first poured. The challenge is to try to restore that shine once the soap has set up. Unfortunately, there aren’t any permanent solutions, but several that work long enough to get a beautiful photo!
We had a regular and an advanced category again this month. The only difference between them is the size of the cake. The regular category is for individual sized soap cakes, and the advanced category is for full-sized soap cakes. Nurture Soap graciously sponsored both categories with gift certificate prizes, and provided a full set of their new Enviroglitters for me to use in the tutorial! They provide spectacular color and shine while being safe for the environment – how cool is that??
With only 17 entries in the advanced category, it was a tight race to the finish! Lei Lei of L3O Soaps in Wisconsin came out on top by just one vote with her Orchid Berry Dream Cake, a gorgeous display of stripey swirls decorated with beautiful hand-formed soap orchids and molded soap berries:
Congratulations to her for winning a $50 gift certificate from Nurture Soap, and for winning the first challenge she’s ever entered!
The close second goes to Dena Mehling in Colorado for her Poppies and Violets soap cake, with a bright, bold display of color and gorgeous shine enhanced by Super Sparkles from Nurture Soap:
Dena’s prize is a $35 gift certificate from Nurture Soap, and her soap photo is linked to her Instagram post with more great photos of her soap! Woo hoo!
In third place we have Leila Hazou of The Mad Soaper Co with her beautiful Love Thy Mother entry! Check out her super shiny mirror glaze with a beautiful color palette and gold accents:
Leila did a great job capturing the shine on her soap, don’t you think? Her prize is a $25 gift certificate from Nurture Soap. Click on the photo to see more great photos from her Instagram post. (Hint: you’ll see one of them here on this post in just a bit…)
The Sponsor’s Choice award was chosen by Carrie Thornsbury of Nurture Soap. She picked “Swan Song” by Danielle Levenson of SkinZen Natural Body Care Products in Arizona. Carrie says, “The glaze and level of detail is amazing!” Indeed! Check it out:
Danielle wins a $20 gift certificate from Nurture – hooray! Click on the photo to read her blog post about this soap and others she created with the mirror glaze technique!
I’ve also chosen several entries for some recognition awards just for fun! Best Technique goes to Sara Golding of Sunflower State Soap in Oklahoma for her Springtime soap. The shine on this soap is outstanding in every way, and the glaze is as smooth as glass:
This photo is linked to Sara’s Instagram post with multiple photos of this soap and the individual sized cakes she also created and her inspiration for the colors and scent.
Best Presentation goes to Donna Fox of Sossima Bath & Body in Canada for her beautifully photographed Bubble Cake:
The soap reflects a soft natural light, and the angle of the photo shows off the unique texture of the bubble cake as well as the drizzle and glitter sprinkles. The clear cut glass cake stand gives the soap a very elegant look and fits the cake so perfectly as to show the detail of the outside edge of the glass. Click on the photo to see more photos of this cake in progress on Donna’s Instagram post.
I added a new recognition award this month for the Best Wet Soap Photo, just to highlight how beautiful the soap is when it is first poured and still wet. I found this photo of Leila’s Love Thy Mother soap in her Instagram post that looks really amazing:
Great job, Leila! (See, I told you there would be another from her.)
Best Use of Color award goes to Enas Swairjo in Kuwait for her Sailing Boat Soap Canvas:
The water flows so beautifully with several shades of blue swirled together and the bright, bold shades of yellow to orange for the sky really make the silouhette of the dark boat stand out. (Linked to her Instagram post!)
Finally, for the advanced category Christine Johnson in South Carolina receives the Best Soap Newbie award for her Heaven and Hell soap:
Christine has been making soap for less than a year, and less than 50 batches under her belt! She has created a wonderful dichotomy with her color choices to show off her theme. The soaps are quite smooth and shiny and presented beautifully! (Linked to Instagram post)
The regular category produced some very beautiful mirror glaze soaps as well! Check out the Grand Prize winner, Jaimie Pendergrass of Soap Authority in Washington State, whose Daisy Cakes show off a beautiful glaze that looks good enough to eat:
Jaimie wins a $50 gift certificate from Nurture Soap! Congratulations on such a beautiful soap with really cute soapy decorations! Be sure to click on the photo to read Jaimie’s detailed blog post about her soap.
In second place we have Marty Johnson in Minnesota with her Shells and Black Pearls soap. Marty created a fun theme for her soaps with multiple looks:
Her prize is a $35 gift certificate from Nurture Soap! Click on the photo to see more photos of this soap as well as some others she created with this technique on her Instagram post. Most impressive is how she created her own silicone molds for the little soap dough shells!
Third place goes to Lisa Edgar in California for her beautifully glazed “Donuts” soaps. Check out the consistent, stripey look:
What a beautiful shine too! She wins a $25 gift certificate from Nurture Soap. Check out her Instagram post with more photos and information by clicking on the photo.
The Sponsor’s Choice award for the regular category goes to Maja Zuvela-Aloise of Bubbledream in Austria for her Green Floral Glaze soap! Carrie says, “It’s just reaching spring time here and I think this soap is gorgeous and inspirational.”
Congratulations to Maja for winning a $20 gift certificate from Nurture! Be sure to click on the photo to read more about what Maja learned from this process and several other soaps she created with mirror glaze designs on her Facebook post.
Recognition awards for the regular category are up next! Best Technique award goes to Robyn French of Bell Jar Beauty in Texas, who also created a soapy doughnut shape called Mum’s the Word. I chose her entry for this award because of the excellent shine, super smooth glaze, fabulous sparkle, and fine line pour:
Check out Robyn’s Instagram post with more photos of her soapy doughnuts created for this challenge by clicking on the photo above!
Best Presentation goes to Stacey Seal of Seal Soapworks in Virginia. Her Cocoa and Charcoal Glazed Soap looks fantastic on the white plate with the wood slat background:
The colors of the soap mimic the wood slats, but the lines go in the opposite direction, drawing your eye right to the center of the photo. The white plate serves as the perfect contrasting backdrop. Soft, natural light reflects the edges of the soap ever so slightly, and the soaps are perfectly focused as they should be.
The Best Wet Soap photo in the regular category is about as perfect as I could imagine, as the surface of the soaps actually act as a mirror! Check out this photo by Leah Stinman of Delta Tule in California:
I can almost see outside of Leah’s window in the reflection of her soap!! (Click on the photo to see the rest of the photos of her soaps for the challenge on her Instagram post.)
Best Use of Color award goes to Jamie Reddinger of Lathering Lotus in Pennsylvania for her Vibrant Heart Soap, which definitely lives up to its name!
Jamie has a great Instagram post with a photo of her freshly poured soaps! Just click on the photo above to check it out.
Lastly, the Best Soap Newbie award for the regular category goes to Liz Strand in Wisconsin for her Dragon Volcano Soap! I thought the colors and theme were very clever:
This was Liz’s first time participating in the challenges and her sister just taught her how to make soap a couple months ago. She did a great job documenting her process on her Instagram post (linked to the photo).
The rest of the entries from both categories are posted in the order they were voted at the bottom of this post.
Now it’s time to announce the next four months of challenges! Registration will open Monday, May 6 for the May through August challenges. Next month, Joanne Watkins of Nature’s Potion Handmade Soaps will be our guest teacher for some fun techniques based on acrylic paint methods. I’m calling it Pour/Pull Through Techniques. Here’s the soap she created for the regular category:
Our sponsor for the May challenge is Nature’s Garden! They have one of the largest selections of fragrances for both candles and soap.
In June, we will be exploring Food & Drink Ingredients in our soaps. How can you incorporate both in one soap? What benefits do they bring? For example, here’s a soap I made with tea and beet puree:
We have a new sponsor for the June challenge, and perhaps you’ve heard of them before: Mountain Rose Herbs!! They have a vast selection of high-quality herbs, spices, teas & DIY supplies – perfect for a food & drink ingredient challenge.
Our guest teacher for July is Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks. She will be showing us how to create Pointy Layers in our soaps like this one:
The sponsor for July is Elements Bath & Body! Teri has done multiple tutorials for them, and they also love supporting the Challenge Club!
I surveyed our April Challenge Club members to find out which technique we should do for August. The result of that survey showed 55% would like to try Brush Embroidery! Terry Friedman of Old Ways Soap gave me permission to use her soap as an example:
We have another new sponsor for the August challenge: Winding Creek Soap & Supply! They offer custom soap molds, aprons, etc for soapmakers – yay!
And now, here are the rest of the entries for April: