The technique for the November challenge was called Thin Line Designs as we set out to create soaps with super thin lines of color. There were two different ways to accomplish this in a log mold for the regular category, and those who participated in the advanced category had to use a slab mold and squeeze bottles. The results are equally fascinating for both categories! Our sponsor this month is Elements Bath & Body – Your One Stop Shop for Wholesale Soap Making Supplies! (Here’s a little insider tip: they will be adding 48 new CP stable micas and oxides to their offerings very soon!) I was able to demonstrate some of their current colorants and fragrances for the tutorial, and they have generously provided gift certificate prizes for all of our top three voted winners, plus a Sponsor’s Choice winner in each category. So fabulous!!
It is now my pleasure to announce the winners…
In the advanced category, the grand prize goes to Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso in California for her Thin Line Designs soap with the most delicate gray and white lines:
After a year and a half hiatus from making soap, Tatiana came back to make this masterpiece and one other which is documented on her blog post. Click the photo of her soap to read more about her soaps on her blog! Tatiana’s prize is a $50 gift certificate from Elements Bath & Body – congratulations!!
Not far behind in second place is Lyubov Evteeva of Lyubava Soap in Russia. Her Abkhazia soap is a representation of a very special place to her by that name with a view of the Black Sea:
This is one gorgeous soap with a view! Click on the photo to read more about it on her Instagram post. Lyubov’s prize is a $35 gift certificate from Elements Bath & Body – well done!!
Third place goes to someone who is brand new to the Challenge Club and hasn’t been making soap for all that long either! Congratulations to Dena Mehling in Colorado, whose Jupiter Rising soap is a beautiful display of thin lines and so many gorgeous colors:
It’s highly possible that Dena is a rising soap star with this quality design work and photography skills! Check out her Instagram post for more information about how she made her soap on her Instagram post. Dena wins a $25 gift certificate from Elements Bath & Body – yippee!!
The Sponsor’s Choice prize goes to Marie Nadeau of Marie Mousse in Canada for her stunning Love for Sunsets soap! Elements Bath & Body says this about her soap: “There are almost no words to describe how immensely stunning Marie’s soap is. It’s just breathtaking! Bravo!”
You can read more about Marie’s soap on her Facebook page by clicking on the photo. Her prize from Elements is a $20 gift certificate – way to go, Marie!
I was so torn when deciding on the recognition awards!! There were so many outstanding entries – especially our top 3, but I wanted to recognize others for their hard work this month. Congratulations to these fine soapmakers:
Best Presentation goes to Emily Scherer of EJ’s Farm in Colorado for her Autumn Roots soap. Emily did an excellent job of capturing the natural beauty of her soap with an organic wood background and well placed bars that show off the face of the design as well as several edges in one cohesive display:
Check out the rest of her photos and inspiration for her soap on her Instagram post by clicking on the photo. Great job, Emily!
There were several entries that really stood out colorwise, but when I took a step back to admire them all, Deb Duggan’s soap was my favorite. Deb hails from Massachusetts and has been doing the soap challenges for several years now. She officially wins Best Use of Color in the advanced category for her Straight Not so Straight soap with the gorgeous palette of pinks and purples:
Click on the photo to read more about her adventures with the soap on her Instagram post (which includes how she came up with the colors)!
Again, it was so difficult to choose a recipient for the Best Technique award as there were so many wonderful entries with really thin lines! This award goes to Diane Schmid in Austria for her Autumn Waves soap as she came up with a unique way to pour her soap:
Diane’s blog post has excellent information, including a video, about how her soap was made. Be sure to click on the photo to read all about it!
Finally, the Best Newbie award goes to someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made less than 50 batches. This award goes to Enas Swairjo in Kuwait for her beautiful Wood Plank soap, inspired by one of her favorite orchestras and their wooden instruments!
Click on the photo to see her Instagram post, then scroll through previous posts for even more information and photos of her soap!
In the regular category, we have equally stunning results! Grand prize goes to Yvonne Liao in Taiwan for her incredible Under the Sea soap! Yvonne’s method inspired one of the techniques we used for the regular category. It produces consistent thin, straight lines as you can see in the photo of her soap. I also chose Yvonne to receive the Best Technique award since she took her technique to a new level with in-the-pot pours, which you can see in her YouTube video if you click on the photo:
Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing your technique with us and inspiring us to new levels! Congratulations on winning a $50 gift certificate from Elements!
Again, second place was a close call and Jaimie Pendergrass of Soap Authority in Washington State came up a winner with her stunning Winter Skyline soap.
Click on the photo read more about how Jaimie made and photographed her soap on her Instagram post! She wins a $35 gift certificate from Elements – woo hoo!
Third place is another gorgeous creation by Gosia Domagala of Magi_Do in Pennsylvania. This is her Ombre with White Lines soap, beautifully photographed as well:
Check out more information about her soap by clicking on the photo, and then scroll through some of her previous Instagram posts to see other soaps she made with this technique. Gosia’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Elements – excellent work!
The Sponsor’s Choice award in the regular category goes to Maja Zuvela-Aloise of Bubbledream in Austria for her Country Sunrise soap! The Elements team says, “We feel that Maja took this technique to the next level. She not only demonstrated her ability to make thin lines, but also the ability to make them into a landscape. Absolutely gorgeous!” I couldn’t agree more!
Maja wins a $20 gift certificate from Elements! Click on the photo to see how she made the soap and the inspiration behind it – so impressive!
Finally, the recognition awards in the regular category – yet another near impossible feat! Starting with Best Presentation, we have Hami Kim of Hami Soaps in New Jersey! Hami is new to the Challenge Club and new to soapmaking as well – although she looks like a pro! This is her Birchwood Oud soap, with a simple white background and simple black and white soaps:
I think what I love most about this photo is that it’s simple, but eye-catching with the middle soap on an angle. The shadows are in appropriate places so that the soaps appear grounded and well-lit without being over exposed. There’s plenty of white space around the soap and the soaps aren’t distorted. Click on the photo to read more about this soap on her Instagram post!
The Best Use of Color award goes to Lynette Olsen of Amazing Soap Company in California for her Thin Lines on My Mind soap. The gold, gray, black and white palette really stood out to me – maybe because it’s such a contemporary look right now, but also because the lines and colors are very crisp and deep without being oversaturated. There’s a nice contrast of light, dark and medium shade colors. Lynette did an excellent job of pre-mixing the colors so they are all homogenous throughout the soap:
Click on the photo to see even more photos of this beautiful soap on her Instagram post!
Finally, Best Newbie award goes to Tori Bridges of Bathematics101 in South Carolina once again this month! (If she continues to participate in the challenges, she will eventually exceed the number of batches and time making soap to qualify for this award, however!) I was very impressed with the super thin lines and gorgeous colors in her Agate soap:
Please click the photo to read Tori’s blog post about this soap! She is a very colorful and expressive writer and you’ll be glad you did!
For December, we will be doing all sorts of In-the-Pot Swirls! This is such a classic technique, but it has some very interesting adaptations with endless design results. It is the first swirling technique that I learned when I first started making soap and I still use in-the-pot swirls to this day. Here are photos of the soaps I created for the video tutorial:
Our sponsor is Majestic Mountain Sage, and they will be providing the gift certificate prizes in both categories! Be sure to check out the Current Challenge page for more information. Registration will open on Monday, November 26!