Soap Dough Embed Winners
February 2022 Soap Challenge
Guest teacher Lisa Cunningham of I Dream in Soap showed us how to make our own soap dough, then shape it into embeds – either by hand or with tools. Beginners had to make their final soaps with at least one simple embed (one color, one shape), and those in the experienced category had to have at least one complex embed in their final soaps, that is an embed with two or more shapes joined together horizontally.
Lisa was the first person to create extruder discs to use in soapmaking. She carries a wide variety of designs in her shop, along with embed molds and other soap making tools. The winners in each category will have their choice of gift certificate from I Dream in Soap OR Amazon. The certificates will be awarded to the top three voted winners, plus Sponsor’s Choice prizes for these as well as two in the bonus category!
Additionally, Eva Gomez who is on our Bubble Support Team has chosen a winner from each category to receive a copy of her Soaping News publication full of interviews with soapmakers from around the world and photos of their beautiful creations. I will post those winners at the very end!
We have some really incredible entries and works of art! Out of 98 entries in the experienced category, Wan-Ting Gonzalez of Tile Soaps in California came in first place with her amazing tile inspired Hola España V.2 soap! The soap dough embeds are incredibly complex, perfectly placed, and the colors have outstanding contrast and smoothness.
Hola España V.2 by Tile Soaps
Congratulations to Wan-Ting for winning a $50 gift certificate! The photo is linked to her Instagram post where you can read more about how she made her soap and see photos of the embeds before they went in the soap.
Second place goes to Debi Olsen in Colorado for her dramatic Heart & Soul soap that she painstakingly created using custom extruder discs that she made herself. Adding the black outlines gave this soap another layer of complexity, and the results are fantastic!
Heart & Soul by Debi Olsen
Debi wins a $35 gift certificate – so awesome! Check out her Instagram post that includes her inspiration photo, and more information about how she made her soap, linked to the photo above.
In third place we have Julie DeNicola of Simply Original Soaps in Florida. Julie did an excellent job creating her design by combining soap dough embeds with scraping techniques, which meant she had to build it upside-down! Check out her well-executed scene comically titled, “That’s Where They Went:”
That’s Where They Went by Simply Original Soaps
Julie’s prize is a $25 gift certificate – way to go! This photo is also linked to her Instagram post with information about the custom tools she made and how her soap came together.
For the Sponsor’s Choice award in the experienced category, Lisa has chosen Jenny Huffman in Kansas for her gorgeous Still Life soap. Lisa says, “I chose this because even though the embed was so incredibly complicated with different styles of flowers and leaves, it was put together so well, with no air gaps. Including the flowers and leaves inside the pot embed is a real skill and the thought in creating all of the different style flowers was amazing. I can only imagine how long it took to create.”
Still Life by Jenny Huffman
Wonderful job, Jenny!! She wins a $20 gift certificate! Click on the photo to see her Instagram post.
Next up are the Recognition Awards for the experienced category. Best Technique goes to Lauren Conn of Sense of New Smyrna in Florida for her soap called The Rose and the Butterfly. I found Lauren’s ability to manipulate the soap dough into gradients absolutely superb! Her embeds are incredibly complex and also have excellent contrast with the two-toned background soap. I love that she embedded extra roses on the edges of the soaps as well!
The Rose and the Butterfly by Sense of New Smyrna
Great job, Lauren! The photo is linked to her Facebook post with more information about how she made it and where she drew her inspiration from.
The Best Use of Color Award goes to Calliope Panagiotopoulou of Calliope Soap in Greece for her colorful Frida soap! Calliope did an outstanding job using a combination of bright, bold colors as well as an excellent skin tone color and a perfectly dark onyx black for her hair and famous eyebrows.
Frida by Calliope Soap
Be sure to click on the photo to read the story behind this soap and all that Calliope went through to create it on her Instagram post!
The Best Presentation Award is for an entry with awesome photography and beautifully displayed soaps. I’ve chosen Elizabeth Cross of Salty Crossing in Tennessee to receive this award for her Peace, Love & Oranges soap. The elements of this photo that stand out to me are the angle of the bars lying flat on the surface juxtaposed with the two that are standing upright. We get to see the design created by the embeds up close as well as the fancy tops, but the arrangement is quite unique! The photo is well-lit with minimal shadows, which is not easy to do with flat lying soaps.
Peace, Love & Oranges by Salty Crossing
Click on the photo above to see Elizabeth’s blog post with excellent information about how her soap was made and more fantastic photos of it!
Let’s take a look at the winners from the beginner category next. Congratulations goes to Beryl Moseanko in Canada for her super cute Pygmy Owl soap! These owls are local to her in Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Beryl did an excellent job of creating a textured feather effect as well as assembling such a complex embed without any gaps:
Pygmy Owl by Beryl Moseanko
Beryl wins a $50 gift certificate – how cool is that? Click on the photo to see her Facebook post that includes her bonus entry with a different owl design.
Second place in the beginner category goes to Marisa Gosselin in Florida for her sweet calico kitty soaps! Marisa made colorful embeds inside the soap with matching kitty shapes on the tops of each bar. The scene she created with the grass-like texture and hints of fluffy clouds in the blue sky is very well executed!
Calico Cat Enjoying the Day! by Marisa Gosselin
Marisa’s prize is a $35 gift certificate! Way to go!! (photo not linked)
In third place we have Zoe Reilly-Ansons in Canada who filled her soap with fireflies! She did a really great job assembling all the elements of her soap and adding special finishing touches like a star, moon and plenty of sparkling glitter on top:
Fireflies by Zoe Reilly-Ansons
Zoe’s prize is a $25 gift certificate – hooray! (photo not linked)
The Sponsor’s Choice award in the beginner category goes to Candace Ford in Canada for her Small but Mighty soap. Lisa says, “I love this little chickadee. It’s so cute, but the reason I chose it as the sponsor’s choice was the wonderful perspective and angle of the bird. I love the way that it’s been turned just off the side view, enough to highlight the beak against the background of the soap, but still keeping enough of an angle to show the features of the front of the bird. The whole embed being hand modeled adds to the difficulty of the design.”
Small but Mighty by Candace Ford
Candace wins a $20 gift certificate – way to go!! I recommend clicking on the photo to see her Instagram post with more information about her soap and the inspiration behind the chickadee.
Now we get to do Recognition Awards for the beginner category! For the Best Technique in this category I have chosen Rainy Days by Erin Korb in Kansas. I love the combination of the complexity of the umbrella embed with the simple rain drops bouncing off. She pulled off an amazing ombre technique for the stormy sky as well:
Rainy Days by Erin Korb
Erin did a great job hand forming the umbrella embed without any air gaps and keeping all the pieces proportional. Click on the photo to see her post on Instagram.
Next is the Best Use of Color Award, and I believe Tetris is a fantastic choice for this award. Heike Sedat-Schmidt in Germany created this admirable soap with a variety of colors that are smooth and saturated. The tetris pieces have excellent contrast with the deep black background.
Tetris by Heike Sedat-Schmidt
Love it! Be sure to check out Heike’s Instagram post with more photos of her process by clicking on the photo!
For the Best Presentation award, I’ve chosen Campfire Nights by Sheyenne Price in North Carolina. The photo has excellent natural lighting and doesn’t appear overly edited. The soaps are nicely beveled and focused in the center, and the lighter neutral background really helps the soap stand out.
Campfire Nights by Sheyenne Price
You can check out Sheyenne’s Instagram post which is linked to this photo.
We have two Sponsor’s Choice winners that have been chosen by the Bubble Support team in the bonus category! First is Smore Fun with Friends by Rebecca Kusza in Indiana. She created all the custom extruder discs herself. The team was especially drawn to the amazing campfire, plus it’s just fun and cute!
Smore Fun with Friends by Rebecca Kusza
Rebecca wins a $20 gift certificate – so awesome! Click on the photo to read about her soap and how her Soap Challenge Club experience came full circle with this soap!
Our second Sponsor’s Choice winner in the bonus category is Klimt the Kiss by Yeon Hee Choi of Binucho in Washington State. The team was very impressed by how well it’s done for how complicated it is. Also, it was her first time to participate in a challenge and she chose to only do a non-competitive entry.
Klimt the Kiss by Binucho
Wonderful work!! Yeon wins a $20 gift certificate! Click on the photo to see her Instagram post with more photos of her soap and the famous painting that inspired it.
And finally, I offer my congratulations to the recipients of the Soaping News publication!
Catch ‘Em All by Sarah Kurdowski in Illinois
(photo not linked)
Moonlight Racing by Melora Campbell in North Carolina
(photo not linked)
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:
You’ll have the option to sign up for March only for $14.95, or both March and April for $27. We have excellent sponsors lined up as well! Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more information and sign up for notifications about the challenges.