Recycled Soap Scraps Winners
October 2021 Soap Challenge
One of the benefits of making handmade soap is that it’s so easy to recycle your soap scraps. Many soapmakers have grated up soap pieces to create confetti soaps, cut small chunks to make terrazzo soaps, or cut larger pieces to make mosaic soaps. These were all viable techniques for this month’s challenge. Additionally, we learned of a new technique by Italian soapmaker Fabio Ciaglia that creates tiny specks of recycled soap bits for a beautiful effect.
The secondary challenge this month was for members to donate the soaps that they made to local charities. I am happy to report that over 138 pounds (63 kg) have been donated to local food pantries, rehab facilities for women coming out of prostitution, visually impaired children, indigenous alcholics and domestic violence shelters, cancer centers, elementary school teachers, as well as money raised for a local canine shelter.
Baraka Shea Butter in British Columbia, Canada, is our returning sponsor this month. Every purchase provides the dignity of income to hardworking rural women in Ghana, and provides you with pure, natural, handcrafted ingredients. Baraka has the strongest and most authentic community impact connection of any shea butter producer in the world. The quality of their products is truly fantastic! They are providing gift certificate prizes for the top three voted winners in both the Beginner and Experienced categories, plus Sponsor’s Choice prizes for these and another for the bonus category!
This was a very popular challenge with 127 entries in the competitive categories, and 67 entries in the bonus category! Let’s start with the winners from the Experienced category.
The grand prize goes to Linda Irawan in Indonesia! Linda created an intricate design that appears to be interlocking octagons pieced together from recycled soap scraps made with the Ciaglia technique. Once the pieces were set, she filled in the spaces with more Ciaglia soap! Her cuts had to be incredibly precise, and the final soaps are true show-stoppers:
Reborn by Linda Irawan
Congratulations to Linda for winning a $50 gift certificate from Baraka! The photo is linked to her Instagram post where you can read more about how she made her soap.
Second place goes to Amy Bautista of Elysian Acres Soap in Colorado for super cute holiday soap made to look like Santa getting stuck in a chimney! Amy says, “These bars are made *almost* entirely from recycled soap scraps (aside from the soap dough boots on top), and they smell like a warm, smoky fireplace at Christmas.” The bricks are surrounded by a nice Ciaglia-style cement soap!
Ho Ho, Oh No! by Elysian Acres Soap
Amy wins a $35 gift certificate from Baraka for her handiwork! Check out her Instagram post with more fun photos of her soap at various angles, linked to the photo above.
In third place we have Wan-Ting Gonzalez of Tile Soaps in California who also made holiday inspired soaps for her entry! These Vintage Christmas Tree Card soaps are made with the Ciaglia method as well, with carefully cut pieces that are embedded into more Ciaglia soap for an overall beautiful design:
Vintage Christmas Cards by Tile Soaps
Wan-Ting’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Baraka – way to go! This photo is also linked to her Instagram post with more information about the colorants and layout of her soap.
For the Sponsor’s Choice award in the Experienced category, Kristal from Baraka has chosen Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks in Indiana for her lovely Night & Day soap. Kristal says, “I love how the specks of colour stand out on the white and black back drops. Nice, clean lines that separate the two contrasted colours. Simple and effective.”
Night & Day by Tree Marie Soapworks
Wonderful job, Teri! She wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka for her beautiful soaps! Click on the photo for more information about her approach to this challenge on her Instagram post!
Next up are the Recognition Awards for the Experienced category. Outside of the top three voted entries, I like to choose some outstanding entries based on several attributes. First up is Best Technique. I have chosen Ben Frazer of Queer Bull Soap in the UK for an outstanding entry that is above and beyond with all of the recycled soap scraps that have been incorporated, as well as the fantastic design work.
Re-re-recycling by Queer Bull Soap
Fantastic work, Ben! The photo is linked to his blog post with more information about how he made it, along with the inspiration photo for this design.
The Best Use of Color Award goes to Katie Ward of Little Bird Soap Co in Minnesota for her gorgeous Holiday Party soap! I love the coordinating color palette, and the amazing tone-on-tone turquoise. The brown diagonal stripe is an excellent contrast between the two larger sections that have such fabulous visual appeal!
Holiday Party by Little Bird Soap Co
This was Katie’s first time participating in the challenges, and I look forward to seeing what else she will create! Click on the photo to see her Instagram post.
The Best Presentation Award is for an entry with awesome photography and beautifully displayed soaps. For this award, I have chosen Rachel Casamassa of Soapothecary in California for the outstanding photo of her OMG! soaps. Not only are the bars evenly shaped and smoothly cut and beveled, but they are placed at interesting angles. Compositionally, I like how the bars are centered in the photo with minimal shadows and just a hint of reflection on the super clean surface.
OMG! by Soapothecary
Click on the photo above to see Rachel’s Instagram post with more information, photos and a short video.
Now let’s see who the winners are from the Beginner category! Huge accolades to Lauren Conn in Florida for her grand prize winning Whirlwind soap! The combination of soap curls and multi-colored Ciaglia soap really stands out:
Whirlwind by Lauren Conn
Lauren wins a $50 gift certificate from Baraka – how cool is that? (Photo not linked.)
Second place in the Beginner category goes to Samantha Cave in Canada for her super cute Winter Aspen soap, complete with little wild animals painted among the trees:
Winter Aspen by Samantha Cave
Samantha’s prize is a $35 gift certificate from Baraka! She did an amazing job documenting her process on her Instagram post, which is linked to the photo above.
In third place we have Kat Creek in France who created a fabulous textured mosaic design with her soap. Her inspiration for this design comes from Rachel Davies Mosaics. Bits of shiny metallic mica make such a big impact. The results are so satisfying!
Santa Fe Sunset by Kat Creek
Kat’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Baraka – hooray! Be sure to click on the photo to see her Instagram post with more photos and videos!
The Sponsor’s Choice award in the Beginner category goes to Suzanne Melville in Sweden for her soap called “A Girl’s Best Friend” – referring to diamonds of course! Kristal says, “I love the colour contrast and clean lines with the geometric shapes.”
A Girl’s Best Friend by Suzanne Melville
Suzanne wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka for her beautiful soap!! Click on the photo if you’d like to check out her Instagram post with more information about her soap.
Next up: Recognition Awards for the Beginner category! For the Best Technique in this category, I have chosen “Let it Scrap” by Olga Izquierdo in Spain. She did an excellent job creating ombre layers of Ciaglia soap with just enough confetti pieces mixed in to create some fun, colorful snowy accents for this mountain landscape. The tiny tree stamps are the perfect embellishment to finish off the design!
Let it Scrap by Olga Izquierdo
The tops of the soap are sprinkled with red mica and eucalyptus and lemongrass leaves. Olga is another first time participant with the Club! Click on the photo to read her blog post with more information and lovely photos of this soap.
Next is the Best Use of Color Award, and I believe Sea Debris is an awesome choice for this award. Yet another first time participant, Orah Lemer in Israel created this magnificent soap, showcasing bright tones of blue and turquoise that contrast well with accents of silver and white. Other colorful bits of soap mingle with the rest in a most gratifying way.
Sea Debris by Orah Lemer
Beautiful soaps, Orah!! Be sure to check out her Instagram post with more information by clicking on the photo!
For the Best Presentation award, I’ve chosen “Puzzled Terrazzo” by Robin Grieco in Arizona. The clean lines, unique beveled edges and stacked soaps with one perfectly on point make a delightful presentation. The photo is well-focused, the soaps are centered with plenty of white space around them, and the background surface is spotless.
Puzzled Terrazzo by Robin Grieco
Robin has more information about her soap and process in her Instagram post which is linked to this photo. Check it out!
Finally, we have the Bonus Category Sponsor’s Choice award! I am happy to announce that this award goes to Marty Johnson in Minnesota for her Upcycled soap entry! Kristal says, “I enjoyed the colour contrast, the small flower in the corner stands out beautifully in each bar. The speckled base is beautifully showcased with the contrasting white and teal.”
Upcycled by Marty Johnson
What a gorgeous design!! Marty wins a $20 gift certificate from Baraka – woo hoo! Click on the photo to read more about how she crafted this design on her Instagram post.
The rest of the entries for the Experienced, Beginner, and Bonus categories are at the bottom of this post!
Registration opens up for the November challenge tomorrow!! We will be doing two different types of Mantra Swirls: the original and mantra marbles. The original mantra swirl was introduced to the soaping world in 2009 by Nicole Benitez and was the second ever soap challenge in July 2013! Mantra marbles is a technique that combines Ebru paper marbling with the mantra swirl in a slab mold. Here is the soap I made for the original Mantra swirl tutorial:
Mantra Swirl soap by Amy Warden
You’ll have the option to sign up for November only, or November AND December. 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 Experienced and Beginner submissions in the order they were voted below: