For the month of November, the challenge was to create soaps with soap curls. This is not a new technique, but we did some design work with curls that was extremely fun and creative! Much of the challenge was inspired by this blog post by Cathy Winsby of Soap Making Essentials.
Our sponsor for this challenge is Custom Craft Tools in Charleston, SC, an up and coming company that creates innovative and high quality soapmaking tools. We are extremely grateful for the very generous gift certificate prizes they are providing for our winners in both the regular and advanced categories. If you have an idea for a custom soap mold or just need a high quality mold or tool, please check them out!
For the advanced category, the main requirement was to create fully embedded soap curl designs in the face of the soap. Many of the members were inspired by paper quilling techniques.
The grand prize winner is Debi Olsen in Colorado with her gorgeous Curly Chai Latte soap:
The layers and textures really came together beautifully to enhance Debi’s soap curl design. It is astoundingly symmetrical as well, which you can see in her Instagram post linked to this photo. Debi’s prize is a $100 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools – congratulations!!
Second place goes to Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks in Indiana. Teri’s Gingerbread Curl soap shows off many consistent soap curls and utilizes a discoloring fragrance for the contrasting color scheme:
Teri is very detailed in her work, and even beveled the edges of her curls so that they come to a point at each end. Beautiful job! Teri’s prize is a $75 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools. Please click on the photo to see the video of how Teri made this soap on YouTube.
In third place we have Christina Biehl in Germany with her whimsical Beetlejuice & Witches Brew soap:
Christina did such a great job cutting and photographing her soap to show off the striped soap curls! Her prize is a $50 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools. The photo is linked to Christina’s blog post about her inspiration behind the soap and a short video of her process, so be sure to check it out!
Custom Craft Tools has chosen Diane Schmid from Austria’s Colorful Orbit soap for the Sponsor’s Choice award. This is what they had to say about Diane’s soap: “We love art in all its forms but specially painting. This soap, its perfect curls, colors selection reminds us of one of our favorite painters Wassily Kandinsky. Great expressive abstraction!!!”
Great job, Diane! Her prize is a $100 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools! Click on the photo to see Diane’s Instagram post about her soap.
Next, I will share my recognition awards for the advanced category. With 74 entries, you would think this job would be easy… but no. I could have given out so many more awards for all the impressive entries this month! With my family’s input, here they are:
For the Best Technique award, I was looking for excellent soap curls that create a beautiful design and outstanding effort. These requirements were completely fulfilled by Lisa Cunningham in the UK with her Lily Pond soap:
The many different elements of the soap are so impressive, as are the contrasting color fills inside the curls, the smooth batter, and overall beauty of the design. Lisa’s photo is linked to a detailed post on her blog for your reading pleasure!
The Best Presentation award goes to Katja Schneider in Germany for her amazing Feu d’artifice soap and photography:
The soaps are all perfectly shaped, lined up, and sharply focused while elements of the background have been blurred. The black and neon colors pop against the lighter, neutral background. The soaps are centered in the photo with plenty of white space around them. Just beautiful! Click on the photo to see more photos of the process on Katja’s Instagram post.
The Best Use of Color award was probably the most difficult to choose as there were so many gorgeous and colorful soaps! This award goes to Ruth Potter of Pottermade Soap in Arizona for her Whimsicurls soap:
I think what makes this “rainbow” soap so special is that it’s not just the traditional rainbow colors. You won’t find a straight up green, but rather a light sage green. There are two shades of blue and two shades of purple as well. The red is a nice bright cherry red which is not easy to do in cold process soap! Click on the photo to read more about the inspiration behind the soap and how she made it on her Instagram post.
Finally, the Best Soap Newbie award goes to someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made fewer than 50 batches. Congratulations to Brenda Storer from New York for coming up with such a fantastic design for Neon Days & Nights:
Brenda made some excellent soap curls and the combination of the black and white backgrounds created two completely different looks to her soap. Check out her Instagram post to see what she learned from this challenge by clicking on the photo!
The winners of the regular category are up next! For this category, the soap curl designs had to be created in a log or loaf mold, with curls embedded in the soap and/or used as decorations in the top of the soap.
Our grand prize winner is Emily Drew of Luna’s Apothecary in Ohio for her gorgeous Fruit Roll Up soap! I chose this soap to receive the Best Use of Color award as well, as the coral and purple are so striking against the white base. Also her goal of making the curls appear to “bleed” into the soap is just excellent use of color!
Emily wins a $100 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools – woo hoo! Click on the photo to see more beautiful photos of Emily’s soap on her Instagram post.
In second place we have Irina Beketova of IB Organics Skincare in Texas with her simply stunning Precious Droplet soap:
Irina combined a variety of design techniques to enhance her soap curl droplet with beautiful results! Her prize is a $75 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools. Irina’s Instagram post is linked to the photo, explaining the inspiration behind her soap.
Third place goes to Whitney Dupree of Great Basin Soap Company in Iowa for her fancy Soap Ribbons entry! I also chose this soap to receive the Best Technique award since it is a combination of horizontal curls inside the soap which are not easy to fill up with the fresh soap batter, plus beautiful soapy ribbons on the top!
Whitney’s prize for her third place finish is a $50 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools! She made a variety of different designs with her soap curls that you can see on her Instagram post linked to the photo.
The Sponsor’s Choice award goes to Ruth-Ann Morgan in Jamaica for her Rose’ and Bloom soap which was inspired by last month’s Slanted Layers challenge. Custom Craft Tools says, “Love an idea of using darker shades of main batch colors for curls. Looks very harmonious. Just like in a rose garden! =)”
Her prize is a $100 gift certificate from Custom Craft Tools! Way to go, Ruth-Ann! Check out more information about this soap by clicking on the photo to see her Instagram post.
The rest of the recognition awards for the regular category are as follows: Best Presentation goes to Yahira T. Rivera of Dehoja in Puerto Rico for her superb Royal Rose soap and photo!
I love how Yahira used gold mica to enhance the rose shaped curls to make them “royal” and each bar was cut extra thick to keep them intact. The edges are beautifully beveled and the photo shows off the tops with the gorgeous curls as well as the sides of the soaps with the lovely veining. The lighting is well-balanced and the photo is focused on the soaps. She did an excellent job documenting her work and progress on her blog post which is linked to the photo.
Finally, the Best Soap Newbie award goes to Valentina Woodward in England for her intricate Bird of Happiness soap:
Valentina planned out her soap design and then executed it beautifully! The colors are bright and bold, and the design work is so unique as it covers three full cubes of soap. The photo is linked to Valentina’s Instagram post with photos of her sketches, tools, and process to create this masterpiece.
The rest of the entries are posted in the order they were voted at the bottom of this post.
Next month we finish out the year with a themed challenge titled, “Black Tie Affair” designing our soaps using black and white plus one accent color. Here is the soap I created for the regular category:
Our sponsor for the December challenge is Majestic Mountain Sage. They are providing gift certificate prizes for our winners, plus a few other Santa gifts! It’s a great way to close out the year!
And now, here are the rest of the entries for November: