The technique for October was inspired by this photo:
Without any explanation for how this soap was made, I set out to re-create it and discovered that it was likely made in a log mold with horizontal dividers. However, since this was an advanced method, I created a much simpler one for our regular category using a comb and a slab mold – thus, the title: “To Comb or Not to Comb.” While both categories were required to create three equal sections of soap, there were several options within the guidelines for members to experiment with. The results show just how diverse the outcomes can be!
We are ever so grateful to Bramble Berry for being our sponsor this month, as their tools, molds, and ingredients were perfect complements to this technique. I was able to use their combing tool and small slab mold to demonstrate the regular category technique, for example, and a modified version of their 5 lb log mold and multi-section pouring tool for the advanced category. They also provided samples from the new Hygge collection which are amazing, as well as gift certificate prizes for the voted winners and Sponsor’s Choice winners in each category!
Let’s start with the winners in the Advanced Category!
Linda Irawan of Moia Soap in Indonesia was voted the Grand Prize winner, and I also chose her entry to receive the Best Technique award. Linda’s Intermezzo soap mimics the inspiration photo extremely well and shows off some amazing crisp curved lines, and straight dividing lines between the sections. The colors are perfect for an orange and peppermint scented soap:
Click on the photo to see other batches Linda made with this technique and what she learned along the way! Her prize is a $50 gift certificate from Bramble Berry – congratulations!!
In second place we have Helene Glemet of ChezHelene in Canada. Helene’s soap is called Laminar Flow, as she compared the fluid dynamics of the technique to this phenomenon of physics! You can find out more by clicking on her photo to see the YouTube video she created:
Helene’s soap also demonstrates the characteristic curved lines between pours with straight lines between sections as well as excellent presentation skills. Helene wins a $35 gift certificate from Bramble Berry!
Third place goes to Diane Schmid in Austria for her Vintage Wallpaper soap. Diane’s soap has beautiful lines and colors also:
Check out that mirror reflection! Diane has a beautiful write-up on her blog about her soap that includes a video of how she made it along with a photo of the other soaps she made with the technique. Take a look by clicking on the photo of her soap. Her prize is a $25 gift certificate from Bramble Berry.
The Sponsor’s Choice winner for the advanced category is Robyn French of Bell Jar Beauty in Texas. The Bramble Berry team fell in love with her Bamboozled by Simplicity soap saying it has “a great color combination and an awesome way to add simplicity to such an intricate design.”
Robyn’s prize is a $20 gift certificate from Bramble Berry! Click on the photo of her soap to see a video of how she made it on her Facebook page.
Recognition awards for the advanced category include several outstanding entries this month.
For Best Presentation, I have chosen Jaimie Pendergrass of Soap Authority in Washington State. Jaimie’s Orange & Anise soap is symmetrically stacked and beautifully photographed with the perfect amount of light and showcases the varied outcomes of each bar:
Click on Jaimie’s soap photo to see her cutting video on Instagram!
Toni Jackson of Sea Garden Soaps in California wins Best Use of Color for her Berry Delicious soap. I love that she used a deep navy instead of black with the berry purple, sage green and white. It has great contrast, and the colors are all beautifully mixed and homogenous:
If you click on the photo, you can see her slideshow of photos about her soap on her Facebook page!
The final recognition award in the advanced category is the Best Newbie Award. This goes to someone who is pretty early in their soapmaking journey and still managed to pull off the advanced technique with beautiful results. Congratulations to Stéphanie Cannenterre in France for her Mistletoe & Berry soap:
Click on the photo to see her Pinterest board showing her amazing progress as she practiced this technique!
And now for the regular category winners! I am very pleased to announce that Tori Bridges of Bathematics101 in South Carolina ran away with the grand prize this month with her We Shall Overcomb Part Deax soap. I also chose her entry for the Best Newbie award, as she demonstrated so many quality characteristics during the course of this challenge as a brand new soapmaker. She was determined to create a unique soap with this method and ran into several obstacles along the way, but also learned SO MUCH in the process. I’ll let you read her story on her blog (it explains why this soap is Part Deux) – just click on the photo:
In addition to all the lessons learned from this challenge, Tori wins a $50 gift certificate from Bramble Berry! Congratulations!!
Second place goes to Stacey Seal of Seal Soapworks in Virginia for her Christmas Comb soap! Stacey did a great job of creating beautiful stripes of color before combing the soap.
This yummy soap is scented with Apple Sage fragrance – check out Stacey’s post on her Facebook page by clicking on the photo! Her prize is a $35 gift certificate from Bramble Berry – way to go!!
In third place we have this beautiful Ocean Waves soap by Leslie Steadman of Luxurious Soaps LLC in Indiana:
Leslie did a great job of including bright, beautiful beachy colors and a generous sprinkle of glitter on top to make everything sparkle like sun hitting the water! Go check out her post on her Facebook page by clicking on the photo, and congratulate her on winning a $25 gift certificate from Bramble Berry!
The Sponsor’s Choice winner for the regular category is Leah Stinman of Delta Tule in California with her Winter Woods soap. The Bramble Berry team says, “Leah did a great job of combining the colors to make the bars look like they have a wood grain.”
I would add that her presentation skills are also amazing and the natural colors and scent truly make this soap special. Check out her Instagram post about her soap and how her 5-year-old was instrumental in naming it (click on the photo!).
Here are the rest of the recognition awards from this month’s regular category:
Best Technique goes to Margo Long of Bearprint Soaps in Oregon for her Spiced Purple soap! Margo did a great job of choosing colors that fit her theme and keeping her batter fluid so that the comb created three distinct sections in the soap:Click on the photo to see her process photos on her Facebook page! Great job, Margo!
The award for Best Presentation goes to Barbora Lomová of Czech Artisan Soap in Czech Republic for her entry Turquoise Gemstone. As it turns out, photography is another passion of hers as is evidenced by the beautiful presentation of her soap as it is featured and focused front and center of her photo. The blurred background is perfectly done as the edges of her soap stay nice and crisp and we only see the soap:
Read more about her process on her blog by clicking on the photo! Excellent work, Barbora!
Finally, the Best Use of Color award goes to Clare Norman of Soda and Ash in South Australia for her beautiful Cranberrycomb soap. Not only did she create the perfect cranberry color, but the accents of purple, tan and white truly create a stunning palette:
Click on the photo for more information and to see her various attempts at this technique! Well done, Clare!
For November, we are doing techniques that create Thin Line Designs! Here are the soaps I created for the video tutorials:
Elements Bath & Body is our sponsor for November. Registration will be open tomorrow, October 27th – Saturday, November 3rd only! (You also have the option to sign up for December at a discount.) Check out the Current Challenge page for all the details!