For the July challenge, I asked Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks to teach us the pointy layers technique. Teri happened to create a soap with this technique as she was waiting for her soap to set up for straight layers, and ended up with this gorgeous technique instead. She has been perfecting it ever since!
Everyone competed together this month (usually we have categories for regular and advanced), and the participation rate was the highest I’ve seen it in quite some time. A huge thanks to all who put in the effort to create a soap for the challenge this month!! Several of our members said it was their favorite technique so far! With 115 total entries, you can imagine how difficult the voting was, as each member only had three votes. The contest ended up quite tight as first through fourth places are all just one vote apart!
Our sponsor this month is Elements Bath and Body. 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; they also ship internationally! Teri contributes fabulous tutorials with their products that you can view on their website. Elements has donated all the prizes for our winners, and with just one category, those prize packages are double their usual size!
Here are the final results:
Grand prize goes to Linda Whitcomb of Island Spring Soapworks in Washington State for her soap titled “Maleficent’s Sister.” The multiple layers have so many points they are almost beyond counting! Beautiful color palette as well. (You might notice a Disney theme this month, which is entirely by chance!)
Linda’s prize is a $100 gift certificate from Elements!! Congratulations! Click on the photo of her soap to read more about it on her Instagram post.
Second place goes to Lynette Olsen in California for her gorgeous Sand and Sea soap! Lynette created six total batches to get the colors and points just right and her efforts totally paid off. The movement of the waves is perfectly evident:
For Lynette’s prize, she will be receiving a $75 gift certificate from Elements – woo hoo! Be sure to click on the photo to see the rest of the batches and what she learned from each one on her blog post.
In third place we have Helene Glemet of ChezHelene in Canada! Helene’s Zebra Points soap is a bright, colorful design featuring zebra stripes as well as very pointy layers:
Helene wins a $50 gift certificate from Elements – hooray! This photo is linked to her Instagram post with an additional photo of her soap.
The Sponsor’s Choice award goes to Lindsey Smith in Washington State! Lindsey’s Blue Drift soap really inspired the Elements team. They said, “We can’t stop looking at it. You can just get lost in those waves! It is so very pleasing and balanced. Stunning work! Well done Lindsey!”
Lindsey’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Elements! Congratulations on such a beautiful soap! You can read more about it on Lindsey’s Instagram post which is linked to the photo above.
Additionally, I have chosen several entries to receive recognition awards for their efforts! With so many amazing entries, I am grateful to Teri for assisting me in this task. These are the “Best Of” awards:
For Best Technique, I was looking for a soap that showed excellent points, well-executed design and overall visual appeal. The colors also contrast nicely to show off the pointy layers. This award goes to Leslie Steadman of Luxurious Soaps in Indiana for Jasmine’s Dream Soap (Yay for Disney!):
You can click on the photo to read more about this soap on Leslie’s Instagram post!
The Best Presentation award goes to Lucie Steblová in the Czech Republic with her beautiful Autumn Forest soap whose pointy layers emulate a foggy landscape and soap dough tree silouettes complete the effect:
The photo is well-lit, well-focused, and the soaps are squared off with small bevels on each edge. The white background ensures that the only thing you see in this photo is the soaps, which are symmetrically laid out in front. The small amount of shadowing around them allows the eye to see they are grounded. Be sure to click on the photo to read more about this soap on Lucie’s Instagram post which includes some more photos of it as well.
I love the artsy effect of Lisa Gillespie’s soap Mondrian Meets Miro as she mimics not only the style but the colors of these amazing artists. Thus, she is the winner of the Best Use of Color award this month! Lisa’s company is Courageous Soap in Colorado.
This award can only be given if the colors in the soap are smooth (well-mixed!), have excellent contrast, and crisp (not bleeding into one another). You can see this soap demonstrates these traits perfectly. If you click on the photo to read Lisa’s blog post, you’ll find that she created several soaps with this technique to land on the one she decided to enter. You can also see the inspiration from the two artists.
Finally, the Best Soap Newbie award must go to someone who has been making soap for less than a year, with fewer than 50 batches under their belt. We had 17 entries that fit this criteria, which I think is absolutely amazing! It can be super intimidating to put your work out there, whether you are experienced or not! I decided to give this award to Tracy Thomas in Virginia for her Crackling Fire soap:
Tracy did an excellent job creating a fiery looking soap, don’t you think? The colors are well-chosen and the thin trace actually worked in her favor to create the flames. The photo is well-lit and focused and shows off the soap beautifully. If you click on the photo, you can read more about Tracy’s soap on her Instagram post.
The rest of the entries are posted in the order they were voted at the bottom of this post.
Next month we will be doing Brush Embroidery Techniques! Registration will open Monday, August 5. Here is the soap I created for the regular category:
We have a new sponsor for this challenge: Winding Creek Soap & Supply. The owner, Michelle Lynn, is a small business owner and soapmaker who has been participating in the challenges for several months now and I’m grateful for her support! Be sure to check out the Current Challenge page for more information and to sign up for notifications!
And now, here are the rest of the entries for July: