Porcelain Design Winners

March 2022 Soap Challenge

For the March challenge, we were inspired by designs from porcelain, ceramic and pottery objects for our soaps.  Our guest teacher Linda Irawan of Moia Soap in Indonesia shared her tips for creating the most intricate designs.

The challenge was completely blind this month so that no one was able to share anything about their soaps anywhere on the internet until after the winners are announced.  Instead of linking the photos to social media posts, I have linked them to their inspiration photos.  You can search #soapchallengereveal to find out more information about the soaps from this month’s challenge.  The names were not attached to the entries during voting, but you’ll find them on the full list of submissions for this challenge linked at the bottom of this post.

Our sponsor this month is From Nature With Love, bringing you the best of nature from around the world since 1997.  They offer an inspiring range of premium quality certified organic, conventional and complementary personal care ingredients used in skin care, hair care, aromatherapy, massage, spa, herbalism and soap making applications. They also offer packaging, natural bath accessories, equipment and instructional books.  Check out their site and resource center to find valuable information for both experienced professionals and new artisans.

They are providing gift certificate prizes for the beginner and experienced categories, including the top three voted winners and Sponsor’s Choice winners, plus an additional Sponsor’s Choice winner in the bonus category.

This challenge has produced some astounding works of art!  Starting with the experienced category, I am very pleased to announce the grand prize winner is Sabina Allegretti in Italy!  Sabina’s soap looks like it could be actual porcelain with the completely smooth surface and uniform texture.  The design is a traditional floral with amazing detail and beautiful colors!  Sabina is obviously a very talented artist:

Rose de Limoges by Sabina Allegretti

Sabina wins a $50 gift certificate to From Nature With Love.  Fantastic job and congratulations!!

In second place by just six votes we have Astrid Kahnt in Germany for another truly excellent display of porcelain painting!  Her inspiration is Meissen Porcelain with four different floral motifs.  Not only is her soap super smooth, but the colors, shading and added embellishments all came together beautifully!

Meissen Porcelain by Astrid Kahnt

Astrid wins a $35 gift certificate to From Nature With Love – way to go!  Incredible work!

In third place we have Catherine Talley in Louisiana.  This is her first time participating in the Challenge Club, and she did an outstanding job!  Catherine’s design is inspired by Limoges pottery and impressionistic painting with intricate florals that are woven into a garden wreath:

Garden Wreath by Catherine Talley

Beautiful soaps, Catherine!!  She wins a $25 gift certificate to From Nature With Love.

Our sponsor has chosen Natalie Jepson-Kundiger of Willow Tree Weaving & Soaperie in Kansas to receive the Sponsor’s Choice award in the experienced category.  Here’s their feedback about Natalie’s soap: “We love the detail of the flowers; they appear to be happily swaying. Great contrast from the elusive bright white soap base to bright orange/red/green. If our inner child was a soap, this would be it!”

Wild Prairie Child by Willow Tree Weaving & Soaperie

Natalie explains the inspiration behind her design comes from the many decorative antique plates her mom had hanging around the old farm house where she grew up, thus her photo is not linked.  However, she wins a $20 gift certificate to From Nature With Love – woo hoo!

Recognition Awards for the experienced category are next.  The Best Technique award is for the soap that has excellent control of trace and exceptionally intricate design.  I have chosen Kazuki Tsuchiya in Japan to receive this award for her entry inspired by a porcelain teacup:


Overcome the Cold by Kazuki Tsuchiya

This soap looks just like a painting with all the lovely colors and outlining.  So wonderfully done!

The Best Use of Color Award is for an entry with smooth, well-mixed colors, and excellent contrast.  Grace Kam in Singapore did a phenomenal job covering her canvas with gorgeous colors to create her Mountain Bliss landscape, inspired by Emma Bridgewater pottery:

Mountain Bliss by Grace Kam

I  love how Grace combined multiple shades of color in all areas of her painting from the sky to the mountains, water and greenery.  The abstract field of flowers gives a nice punch of color to the foreground!

The Best Presentation Award is for an entry with well displayed soaps and fantastic photography.  My pick for this award is Bamboo Forest by Elena Toutountzi of Lela’s Handmade Artisan Soaps in Greece.  I love the deep, moody vibe and the contrast between the lighter colored soaps with the dark background.  The soaps are equally spaced and perfectly centered in the photo with plenty of white space around the edges.

Bamboo Forest by Lela’s Handmade Artisan Soaps

Elena’s inspiration is a beautiful vase with simple bamboo designs.  She has given her soap intentional texture by using thick and thin soap batter and made sure to create complete designs on the individual bars.

For the beginner category, our grand prize winner is Paula Becerra in Chile!  Her design is inspired by the pairs of birds that are together forever. She wanted to recreate the scene of the shared tasks of the birds in their nest, being close to each other in a growing spring that begins to blossom with life.  The details of her painting capture her inspiration so wonderfully!

Amanecer Contigo (Wake Up with You) by Paula Becerra

Paula’s prize is a $50 gift certificate to From Nature With Love – so awesome!!  Such a well-deserved win!

Second place in the beginner category goes to Heike Sedat-Schmidt in Germany for her Lotus Leaf soaps.  She has created a multi-color canvas and filled it in with lotus flower details that are just slightly textured.  The outlines define the edges of the petals and give depth and contrast to the design:

Lotus Leaf by Heike Sedat-Schmidt

Heike wins a $35 gift certificate to From Nature With Love – wonderful work!

In third place we have Talissa Almeida in Brazil who created a Butterfly Garden out of soap!  It’s the perfect Spring design, combining bright flowers and butterflies, inspired by a lovely tea cup and saucer.  I love how she’s filled out the canvas with branches, petals and dots of pink:


Butterfly Garden by Talissa Almeida

Talissa said, “Almost everything was harder than I thought… Except butterflies. Butterflies are cool.”  The butterflies are the best part of the design for sure!  Her prize is a $25 gift certificate to From Nature With Love.  Great job!

The Sponsor’s Choice prize for the beginner category goes to Sarah Kardonsky in New York!  Sarah’s design is inspired by house plants.  From Nature With Love chose this entry because it is “visually pleasing with such a realistic feel.  It has a defined subject with complementing color scheme, and we, too, love a houseplant or six!”

Everyone Loves a Houseplant! by Sarah Kardonsky

Sarah wins a $20 gift certificate to From Nature With Love – hooray!  Excellent choice for this award!

Now we get to do Recognition Awards for the beginner category!  Again I studied the entries for the Best Technique and found “Not So Traditional” by Jessica Kruszewski in Washington State to be an excellent example of a nice smooth soap with an intricate and visually pleasing design.  It is inspired by the traditional blue and white porcelain dishes and vases:

Not So Traditional by Jessica Kruszewski

Jessica did a great job swirling her “not so traditional” porcelain design as well as the base of the soap!

Next is the Best Use of Color Award, and I have chosen Ancient Family Blooms Tea by Amy Bruederle in Illinois to receive this award.  The colors are so bright and happy!  I love the pink on turquoise and how she layered the base soap as well.  All of the colors are uniform and consistent throughout.

Ancient Family Blooms Tea by Amy Bruederle

Amy says, “My inspiration for this challenge was cherry blossoms! When I was a teenager, I went to Washington DC during the cherry blossom festival. It was one of the most magical experiences of my life. I recently learned that when the cherry blossoms are blooming in Japan, people take the day off, pack picnics, and spend the day with friends and family under the cherry trees. It seems like everyone is so busy these days, I wanted to make a soap that would remind people to stop and appreciate the beautiful things around them!”

For the Best Presentation award, I’ve chosen “Peacock Feathers” by Zoe Reilly-Ansons in Canada.  I love how the soaps are arranged and the clean, neutral background with plenty of white space around the edges.  The photo is well-lit and focused, and immediately draws your eye to the center soaps:

Peacock Feathers by Zoe Reilly-Ansons

Zoe found two ceramic pieces that she really liked and combined the styles to create her peacock feather design. Well done!

Finally, we have our Sponsor’s Choice winner from the bonus category!  Wan-Ting Gonzalez of Tile Soaps in California has been chosen for this award.  According to From Nature With Love, her Bird of Paradise soap is “visually stunning, like a painting.  It has clean lines between the soap base layers; no color bleeding, and she’s done a great job in comparison to the inspirational photo.”

Bird of Paradise by Tile Soaps

Wan-Ting says she intentionally chose a design with bright colors on a black canvas.  Her soap went from thin to medium-heavy trace as she worked about 45 minutes on each bar!

Great job to all our winners, as well as everyone else who participated in the challenge this month!  If you would like to see the rest of the entries this month, check out these links:

Registration for the April challenge opens Monday, April 4!  April’s challenge is Sculpted Layers with guest teacher Roxanne Moore of Caprica Soapery. This is the soap she made for our tutorial with custom Soap Shapers from our sponsor, Love Your Suds. Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more information and sign up to be notified as soon as registration opens.