One Pot Wonder Winners

June 2020 Soap Challenge

The June Challenge was so much fun!  We had a record number of participants, and the technique was simple, quick, and forgiving enough for even new soapmakers to enjoy and create.  The “One Pot Wonder” was inspired by a technique done by Tania of Soapish.  It requires layering all the colored soap in one pot, then pouring it in the mold in a particular way to create feathering between the layers.  We discovered some variations based on how the soap was added to the pouring pot, and the results are all beautiful!

We had a brand new sponsor this month: Baraka Shea Butter in British Columbia, Canada with products sourced from Ghana, Africa.  They strive to use business to bridge divides worldwide and create a genuine community impact through:

They have provided gift certificate prizes for our top three voted winners in the advanced and regular categories, as well as TWO Sponsor’s Choice prizes for each category.  We are so grateful for their sponsorship!!

Let’s start with the winners in the advanced category.  All of these soaps had to be made with all natural colors and scents, and have at least five layers.

Our grand prize winner is Lucie Steblova in the Czech Republic with an absolutely stunning feathered soap called Sunset.  Lucie made six layers with activated charcoal for black, dandelion and annatto for yellow, red pepper for orange, himalayan rhubarb for pink, gromwell CO2 extract for dark purple and indigo for the blue-grey color.  It is scented with mint, orange bitter and cedar atlas essential oils. 

Sunset by Lucie Steblova

Congratulations to Lucie for winning a $50 gift certificate from Baraka Shea Butter!!  This was her one and only attempt at this technique – can you believe it?  The photo is linked to her YouTube video if you’d like to watch her make it!

Our second place winner is Christina Biehl in Germany/Bavaria.  Her soap is titled “Burning Sunset” and has magnificent blazing colors!  The soap has been colored with coconut charcoal for black, madder root extract + espresso capsanthin liquid extract (NOT capsaicin! This burns like fire!!) for purple, natural soap batter for creamy white, brazilian extract for red, and more coconut charcoal for gray.  It is scented with ylang ylang and juniper essential oils.

Burning Sunset by Christina Biehl

Christina wins a $35 gift certificate from Baraka Shea Butter – hooray!  You’ll be pleased to know that this photo is also linked to a YouTube video where you can watch her make the soap.

Third place goes to Maja Zuvela-Aloise of Bubbledream in Austria for her glorious “Red Inception” soap!  It is simply colored with activated charcoal, white clay, and manjistha powder which makes the deep red and also bled a bit pink for added depth.  It is scented with rose geranium and litsea essential oils.

Red Inception by Bubbledream

Way to go, Maja!!  Her prize is a $25 gift certificate from Baraka.  Check out her Instagram post by clicking on the photo.

The first Sponsor’s Choice award from Baraka Shea Butter for the advanced category goes to Shaz Davis of Wild Wolf Soaps in New Zealand for her super cute Honey Sunset soap, as Kristal says, “because it had such beautiful colours and lines as well as I enjoyed the bees on top.”

Honey Sunset by Wild Wolf Soaps

Shaz wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka – woo hoo!  She colored the soap with black clay + activated charcoal, Azov blue clay with a little bit of indigo, and Brazilian purple, red and yellow clays.  It is scented with lemongrass essential oil.  (The white bees are uncolored soap.)  Take a look at the other soaps she made with this technique by clicking on the photo and checking out her Instagram post!

The second Sponsor’s Choice winner for the advanced category is Jenny Ho of Jade Soap Shop in Florida for her incredible Rainbow Feather Duo Butter Soap  “because of the great colours and technique.”  Jenny used rose kaolin clay, wheatgrass powder, activated charcoal, indigo, and ground job’s tear for her natural colors, with grapefruit and peppermint essential oils for scent.

Rainbow Feather Duo Butter Soap by Jade Soap Shop

Jenny also wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka – so awesome!  She made a video of the making of her soap, and it is linked to the photo.

Next we have the recognition awards for the advanced category!  Starting with Best Technique, I have chosen Katja Schneider from Germany to receive this award for her beautifully feathered soap called “Relaxed River Flow.”  She did an excellent job of creating fine feathering throughout the entire soap – even with natural colors which can be quite difficult to achieve!  For the colors she used alkanet, paprika, and indigo, leaving some of the batter uncolored.  It is scented with cedar, peppermint and sage essential oils.

Relaxed River Flow by Katja Schneider

Great job, Katja!  You can check out her Instagram post about her soap by clicking on the photo!

Next we have the Best Presentation Award which goes to Holly Shelton in Tennessee for her Orange and Blue One Pot Wonder.  This soap is beautifully presented with one faced front and center and several others that seem randomly placed around it and slightly blurred to draw attention to the one in front.  I love how the lighter background color really shows off the deep orange and blue hues of the soap!

Orange and Blue One Pot Wonder by Holly Shelton

The photo of Holly’s soap is linked to her Instagram post.

For Best Use of Color, I chose Chassidy Walsted-Fakler of Wild Plantanica in Montana for her absolutely stunning Rainbow Sky soap.  She used paprika, rhubarb, alkanet, indigo, and nettle for color, and scented the soap with sweet orange, lemon and lavadin essential oils.

Rainbow Sky by Wild Plantanica

I had never seen rhubarb used as a soap colorant until this challenge, and it produces the most beautiful pink!  Click on the photo to see Chassidy’s Facebook post that includes a link to her YouTube video making the soap.

Finally, Best Soap Newbie in the advanced category goes to someone who has made fewer than 50 batches of soap and has been making soap for less than a year.  This award goes to Karolyn Skudlarek in Minnesota for her beautiful Breaking Dawn soap!  Karolyn’s soap impressed me on several levels.  First, she put in the necessary research to figure out how to use each of the natural colorants that she put in her soap and decided that each of the five needed to be prepared into five separate batches of soap!  Those five batches were then layered into her pouring pot, and the second impressive part is that she was able to keep them all fluid as she poured.  Finally, the fact that her colors are nice and saturated shows that she used the correct amounts of each color.

Breaking Dawn by Karolyn Skudlarek

Feel free to click on the photo to see Karolyn’s Instagram post about her soap.  It includes photos of her ingredients and her process.

Now we get to move on to the regular category winners!  We had 170 entries in this category which was amazing and definitely a new record!!  For this category, members could use any colors or fragrances for their soaps, but they were limited to four layers in their pouring pot. 

The grand prize winner is Sabine Schmidhofer in Austria with her very fun One in a Melon soap!  It is such a beautiful representation of the feathering effect of the technique, and such a sweet impression of a watermelon at the same time:

One in a Melon by Sabine Schmidhofer

Sabine’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Baraka Shea Butter – congratulations!!  Take a look at Sabine’s blog post by clicking on the photo.  You’ll find more photos of this soap, as well as six others she created for the challenge!

The second place winner is Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks in Indiana who created this colorful Cradle Canyon soap for her entry:

Cradle Canyon by Tree Marie Soapworks

Teri wins a $35 gift certificate from Baraka – yippee!  The photo is linked to Teri’s Instagram post about her soap as well as four other soaps she made with the technique.  Check it out!

Our third place winner is Marina Baranov in Kentucky who created a unique rainbow effect in her soap using multiple in-the-pot swirls.  She calls it “After the Rain.”

After the Rain by Marina Baranov

Congratulations to Marina for winning a $25 gift certificate from Baraka!  You’ll find more information about her soap by clicking on the photo and taking a look at her Instagram post.

The first Sponsor’s Choice winner in the regular category goes to Renee Munoz in Arizona for her soap inspired by Maui.  Kristal chose this one “because it gave me a real sense of being at the beach. I loved how the ‘sand’ was at the corner of the bar while the ‘surf’ came in on an angle.”

Maui by Renee Munoz

Renee wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka – great job!  Click on the photo to see Renee’s Instagram post about her soap and how she got inspired.

The second Sponsor’s Choice award goes to Kelley Conway in Massachusetts for her soap called “One Pot Wonderful.”  Kristal said she “loved the natural earthy tones and the nice clean edges.”  It’s scented with Caribbean Escape fragrance for a beachy vibe!

One Pot Wonderful by Kelley Conway

Kelley also wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka – well done!!  Take a look at her Instagram post with more photos of this soap as well as two others she made for the challenge by clicking on the photo.

Recognition awards for the regular category are next!  Best Technique award goes to Thaphon Thanyanimman in Thailand for his Orange Feather soap.  I’m not sure you could get a finer feathering effect throughout the soap!  It’s just gorgeous – and he did it with all natural colors as well!

Orange Feather by Thaphon Thanyanimman

This soap is very impressive, and you’ll find others like it by clicking on the photo to see his Instagram post!

Next is the Best Presentation award which goes to Margo Long in Oregon for her fantastic Plum Crazy soap and photo!  Margo did an excellent job beveling the edges of her soaps and presenting them in an eye-pleasing fashion.  The lighting is just enough to enhance the colors and keep the shadows to a minimum.  The white background is an excellent contrast to the brightly colored soaps which are all nicely focused and centered:

Plum Crazy by Margo Long

Take a look at Margo’s blog post about her soaps and another batch she created for the challenge by clicking on the photo.

The Best Use of Color award goes to someone who also happens to be a new soapmaker!  Congratulations to Sayani Biswas in Texas for her colorful Sailing into the Sunset soap!  She did an excellent job of creating bright summery colors that work well together and have been mixed smoothly.  She took advantage of using in-the-pot swirls to create added depth, and the texture of the sand is an added bonus!  By having both blue and orange on the tops of her soaps, she created the perfect backdrop for the sailboat embellishments.

Sailing into the Sunset by Sayani Biswas

Click on the photo for more information and to check out the photos of her process from her Facebook post!

Last, but not least, is the Best Soap Newbie award!  Congratulations to Angela Lussow in Wisconsin for her delightful Desert Sunset soap!  Angela has been making soap for less than a year and made fewer than 50 batches, so it’s quite impressive to see the lovely feathering, beautiful colors, as well as the fun succulents on top of her soap:

Desert Sunset by Angela Lussow

Great job, Angela!  I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful soap designs!  The photo is linked to her Instagram post with more information about her soap if you’d like to check it out.  The rest of the entries for both categories are at the bottom of this post!

Registration for the July challenge opens on Monday for those who would like to join us for Natural Stone Techniques.  The two categories are Marble and River Rock – you get to choose!  I’ve created soaps like these for the video tutorial, and hope you’ll join us:

You will also have the opportunity to sign up for the August challenge if you wish. Check out the Current Challenge page for more info and to sign up for notifications!

Here are the rest of the One Pot Wonder entries for June in the order they were voted:

Advanced Category


Regular Category