It is mid-August and just a few days before my daughter’s first birthday and the same few days before the end of my maternity leave. The last one month has been hectic, full of efforts to settle in our new place, prepare for going back to work and have summer fun with my family. Among all this I made time for soaping for this month’s challenge hosted by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks and for some of my friends who were in need of some summer soap.
I wondered some about what to choose for this month’s challenge. I tried the negative space embeds for July’s color challenge when I used differently colored opaque soap for the embeds. That’s why I guess I decided to use transparent soap for the negatives space embeds this time. I was really at a loss what design to choose but, fortunately, I got across a picture of a beautiful suncatcher and thought that it would be great to make a suncatcher soap. But soon after I saw the picture of the suncatcher, I found another one of sea glass beads and (who would have guessed?) decided that I wanted to try a sea glass soap, too. Since my time for soaping has been so little this month I made two different soaps at the same time – using individual molds (milk packs cut into halves) made it possible so I had to only prepare all the colorants (micas) and get started. Of the two soaps I made, I chose the Sea Glass for the challenge.
I have to say though that coloring the base and swirling the soap was the easiest part of this project. As I wanted to have spaces of different sizes I had to use plastic straws of three different sizes. And Gosh, was it difficult to cut the holes! I began making the holes when the soap was still somewhat soft but the cutouts would not behave – no matter how hard or gently I tried they would not come out.
So I waited for a night and tried again the next morning and – to my surprise – there was no problem this time. The soap would stick inside the straws and come out smoothly.
And then came the next hurdle. Coloring the transparent soap and getting it into the tiniest of the holes without letting in any air bubbles. And here I think I was not so successful. Some air went in and for some of the soap I used too much mica which made the soap less transparent than the image I had in my mind.
Here is a picture of the soap before I trimmed it into a (little bit) better shape.
I love how the swirl came out and the color combination – it is very summer-y. It makes me think of sunshine, beach and the sea.
And my other soap, the Suncatcher. I did the faux funnel swirl, two rounds only but as I needed more impact, I also used some mica in oil to enhance the line of the suncatcher wire.
I have loved all of Amy’s challenges because I learn something new in each of them This time I realized (though a little too late) that whenever I want my transparent soap to look really transparent, i have to go easy with the mica.
Thank you Amy for hosting this challenge and the inspiration for yet another wonderful project!
I am very much looking forward to seeing all soapy beauties this month!