March 2020 Challenge: inlaid soap design

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szaza

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Welcome to this installment of the Soap Making Forum's Challenges. This month, we are doing an inlaid soap design!


PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THIS FIRST (and ALL Rules)-

General Rules:

1. To be eligible to vote, members must add their names on the sign up list - regardless of whether or not an entry is submitted, although full participation in the Challenge is highly encouraged for all who sign up (see General Rules below).

2. This month’s voting will be password locked. Passwords will be sent (via SMF Conversations) to all registered participants ONLY. So please check your messages when the voting begins.

3. No posting your entry photos until the entry thread is made. Non-entry photos are very welcome!

4. You are allowed to change your entry photo up until the entry thread closes. So if you decide after you post your entry you want another try, and you like the second better, you can change it up until the deadline.


SMF Challenge General Rules

· To enter you must have a minimum of 50 posts and been a member for a month (sorry but no exceptions on this)

· In the spirit of advancing our soapmaking skills, all members who sign-up for an SMF Challenge, do so with the expectation that they will make every attempt to make the Challenge soap, as well as post their experience in the Challenge. By doing so, each participate has a better knowledge of the process when voting. We do understand that sometimes things come up in our lives and throw our plans out of whack, however signing up with no intent to participate and only to vote is discouraged.

· Please add your name to the sign up list if you wish to participate (however, you don’t have to enter a soap at the end if you don’t feel happy with what you have produced), but please do post your experiences in the main Challenge thread and be prepared to be encouraged to continue trying.

pictures of any of your challenge attempts where you can ask for advice and discuss the technique with other members, and provide helpful hints you learned along the way.

· Constructive criticism is welcomed, but please try to keep your comments polite.

· Competition entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date. The Entry thread will open on March 22, 2020 (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter)

· After the closing date March 28 at 11:59 pm GMT the winning entry will be chosen using survey monkey (Voting will be open from March 29, 2020 to March 30, 2020 11:59 pm GMT) and the winner announced on March 31, 2020. There is no prize attached to this challenge.

· If you fail to make the challenge deadline, you are still welcome to upload your soap onto the thread, but your entry will not be eligible for voting. We still love to see anything you have produced.

· Even though there is no prize, this is still a competition. If your entry is deemed not to fulfill the general rules or the rules specific to the challenge in any way, then you will be given the opportunity to amend your entry. If this is not possible then your entry will not be included in the voting.

· All the challenge mods reserve the right to have the final say on whether a soap is eligible for voting.
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The March 2020 SMF Challenge is Inlaid Soap Design.

Rules for this month’s challenge:

Create a soap with an inlaid design. This means carving out a design from your soap and filling it with another color soap. All techniques are welcome, for your base you could use CP or HP and I think MP or rebatch could also work. To fill the carvings you could use CP, MP or soap dough. I don’t recommend HP, but feel free to try if you want. You can combine this with any other technique you like, just make sure the inlaid design is the 'main event' in your soap.

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS and TUTORIALS

This is a very fun technique because it allows you to make designs that are very difficult (if not impossible) with other soapmaking techniques. However, it’s also very time consuming, so please take this into account when planning your soap. The design is carved into a fresh bar of soap. Carving can get difficult when the base soap dries out too much, so don’t try to carve too many bars at once and/or use a softer recipe or make sure your soap doesn’t dry out before you finish carving in another way (storing in a closed plastic container comes to mind, though I haven’t tried that). If you find a way to carve an already cured bar of soap, let us know!

Things you will need (in addition to the usual soapmaking tools):
• Fresh bars of soap
• (Pattern tracing) paper and pencil+ inspirational design to make a template
• Carving tools (knifes, clay carving tools, embossing tools, scissors.. feel free to experiment)
• Soap dough, MP or fresh soap batter with a slow tracing recipe to fill the carved pattern.

About the base soap:
You can use whatever technique/design you want for the base soap, the only requirement is that the inlaid design is the main event in your soap. For this reason you'll be asked to upload front and back of your soap in the entry thread (or before/after in case you decide to carve both sides of your soap)
I plane my soap before carving, because my designs are quite intricate, which makes it difficult to carve deep and I'm afraid to lose part of my pattern if I plane after filling. I've seen people plane after filling the design, so it’s possible but make sure you carve deep enough.

Making a template:
Find a picture or draw the design you'd like to make. Make a template by tracing the outline of the picture onto some (pattern tracing/see through) paper. I stick pattern tracing paper to my computer screen to make the outline.
You can also print a design, glue it on cardboard, cut this out and carve around the outline.

Carving the design:
There are many ways to carve out the design you want. I use a knife, but I've seen people using clay carving tools, embossing tools and even scissors with good results. Look at what you have and experiment with what you like to use.

Filling the design:
I've only used CP so far and emulsion/light trace makes pouring quite a lot easier, so make sure your recipe is a slow tracing one. I just pour the batter on the soap, wipe off the excess and then refill more precisely with some batter a skewer of necessary. I've also seen people use a pipette to fill the carvings.
I've also seen people use MP or soap dough to fill the carvings, so there are several different techniques to choose from if you don’t want to deal with the time pressure of CP batter thickening.

Entry photo:
Please incorporate the back of one of your soaps in the picture so we can see the transformation your soap has gone through (if you decide to carve both sides of your soap a before and after picture is also possible). You may enter a group of soaps in one photo, or choose a minimum of two soaps (front and back) for your entry photo, but choose one entry photo, please.
When you enter your soap on the entry thread (which will be posted on March 22nd) please feel free to include a description of your creative process.

Here’s my attempt at a video tutorial (as you can see video editing is not my strength). This is just the way I did those soaps, there are many other approaches which are all fine as long as carving and filling of a design are involved.

Additional tutorials & videos:

Inlaid soap with soap dough by Yvonne Liao:
Inlaid soap design with CP soap by Holly from Kapia Mera:
Sara Golding swirled different colors CP batter in her design

Thank you for participating and please sign up using the sign-up sheet below.

Enjoy!

Next post is Sign up post:
 

Primrose

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
Does the design need to go all the way through the soap bar?
 

Mobjack Bay

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
Fantastic instructions @szaza!
 

Primrose

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That would be really difficult and almost impossible when carving soap, so no;)
Excellent ahahahaha
I think I got the wrong idea when I read the bit about showing front and back, now that I have read it a few times, I realize what you meant :)
 

dibbles

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
3. dibbles - time to embrace the mess I know I'll make!
 

bookreader451

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
3. dibbles - time to embrace the mess I know I'll make!
4. bookreader451 - I just purchased clay carving tools. I am better at art than hanger swirls.
 

Arimara

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
3. dibbles - time to embrace the mess I know I'll make!
4. bookreader451 - I just purchased clay carving tools. I am better at art than hanger swirls.
5. Arimara - I need to bum some tools if I can. It's a good excuse for doodling.
 

szaza

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Excellent ahahahaha
I think I got the wrong idea when I read the bit about showing front and back, now that I have read it a few times, I realize what you meant :)
The thing about showing the front and back of a soap in the entry picture is just to show off the difference the carving makes in the soap, since normally the back of the soap is still plain;) (well, technically it's possible to do both front and back but that's a lot more work and the design still wouldn't go all the way through the soap)
 

dibbles

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The thing about showing the front and back of a soap in the entry picture is just to show off the difference the carving makes in the soap, since normally the back of the soap is still plain;) (well, technically it's possible to do both front and back but that's a lot more work and the design still wouldn't go all the way through the soap)
Except for a do-over on the back :confused:
 

Jersey Girl

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
3. dibbles - time to embrace the mess I know I'll make!
4. bookreader451 - I just purchased clay carving tools. I am better at art than hanger swirls.
5. Arimara - I need to bum some tools if I can. It's a good excuse for doodling.
6. Jersey Girl- this looks like fun! Excited to experiment with this!
 

szaza

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Except for a do-over on the back :confused:
Haha yes, if you're really not happy with what you made you can always redo it on the back instead of making a completely new batch. (If that's the case a before and after picture in the entry thread is also fine) I found this technique to be quite forgiving. It's easy to mend small mistakes, so don't worry too much about do-overs yet;)
 

dibbles

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Haha yes, if you're really not happy with what you made you can always redo it on the back instead of making a completely new batch. (If that's the case a before and after picture in the entry thread is also fine) I found this technique to be quite forgiving. It's easy to mend small mistakes, so don't worry too much about do-overs yet;)
LOL I’m not too worried. I’ll make a regular sized batch and history shows I don’t have the patience to do more than that.
 

Arimara

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I know I need TD for this. Should I just grab some from a baking section at Michaels or just order the TD and disperse it myself?
 

amd

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
3. dibbles - time to embrace the mess I know I'll make!
4. bookreader451 - I just purchased clay carving tools. I am better at art than hanger swirls.
5. Arimara - I need to bum some tools if I can. It's a good excuse for doodling.
6. Jersey Girl- this looks like fun! Excited to experiment with this!
7. amd
 

szaza

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I know I need TD for this. Should I just grab some from a baking section at Michaels or just order the TD and disperse it myself?
I don't have any experience with TD, so I'm hoping someone else will chime in!;)
 

Callie

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
3. dibbles - time to embrace the mess I know I'll make!
4. bookreader451 - I just purchased clay carving tools. I am better at art than hanger swirls.
5. Arimara - I need to bum some tools if I can. It's a good excuse for doodling.
6. Jersey Girl- this looks like fun! Excited to experiment with this!
7. amd
8. Callie - I was intimidated at first, but after some thinking in the shower with my kid's bathy toys, I have ideas. Wow!
 

atiz

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1. Primrose - something I have been meaning to try!
2. Mobjack Bay - excited to give this a try!
3. dibbles - time to embrace the mess I know I'll make!
4. bookreader451 - I just purchased clay carving tools. I am better at art than hanger swirls.
5. Arimara - I need to bum some tools if I can. It's a good excuse for doodling.
6. Jersey Girl- this looks like fun! Excited to experiment with this!
7. amd
8. Callie - I was intimidated at first, but after some thinking in the shower with my kid's bathy toys, I have ideas. Wow!
9. Atiz - my first soap challenge, it will be a mess, but excited to try it!
 
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