The Soapy Challenge between myself and Erin Healy for January was the Tall & Skinny Shimmy... and it turned out to be much harder for me than I thought it would be! Amy Warden's Great Cakes Soap Works Soap Challenge had fantastic entries for this challenge last year, and the designs from the guest teacher from that challenge, Tatiana Serko are breathtaking... check them out!
After looking at those links, you may just want to not read any further here, because mine is only a humble attempt in comparison. The dreary weather in northern CA during this El Nino year inspired me to use bright, sunny colors and an essential oil blend that is heavy in bright, citrus notes. The colors and scent remind me of some of my time living outside of Naples- hence Italian Sunrise was born!
Here are the colors I used in the first batch- Yellow Vibrance, Mango Tango, Firecracker, & Lemon Chiffon are from Nurture Soap Supplies and Gold Sparkle and Super Pearly White are from Brambleberry. On the left you see the colors (mixed in oil) when they were first added to the divided soap batter- the girls call those soap brains...
For this design I actually had a plan sketched out on scrap paper...I wanted the layers to be dark at the bottom and lighter at the top, like the sunset fading into the clouds- I was hoping for the reddish color (firecracker) to be the S curve up through the bar... I was afraid that I was pouring too much soap in each layer and that the batter would thicken up too much before I got my layers poured. I shouldn't have been so rushed, because I had plenty of time and ended up with too many layers on the first try! These pictures are from pouring on the first batch~ you can see how each pour was made from the opposite side of the mold. I used a couple of small blocks from Peter and Mo's toys for my risers.
The layers looked really cool when it was all poured!
The swirl on top reminds me of fire- at least on the first batch.
Then I cut it...and was so disappointed in how it turned out! It wasn't at all like I was hoping...but I had to laugh, because it reminded me of a volcano, and I did live so close to Vesuvius in Italy!
So it was back to the drawing board... and a second batch, with more soap in each pour and one less color (I cut the lemon chiffon in batch two.) I didn't have my picture helper for this one...so you only get a cut picture!
This version reminds me of an ink wash technique class I took in middle school, only that was black and white. I certainly like the second try better...though it looks like a pine tree in sunset colors I almost wish I had used shades of green! When you make soap, things don't always turn out the way you think they will, but they are still soap in the end!
You can grab your slice of an Italian Sunrise at the webstore now! The blend of cedarwood, lemon, citronella, rosemary, & Bulgarian lavender is bright with an earthy note, and the colors are bright and cheery. It is a great soap, too!