SMF January 2017 Challenge Entry Thread- Gradient Layer

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galaxyMLP

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Please post your pictures here for the January challenge.

In order to keep this thread free of clutter, please refrain from commenting in this thread unless you are posting an entry.

For entry:

We need to see at least 1 picture of your soap which clearly shows all 5 (or more) of your layers.

You may add up to 3 other "artsy" pictures if you'd like.

Please also tell us what fragrance (if any) you used and what you liked most about this challenge/what you'd like to see different for the next challenge when you enter. I also need to know how many layers your gradient had in total!

On the 25th at 12 pm CST, the thread will close and voting will begin at 6 pm CST.

Voting will be password protected and sent through pm. If you do not enter a soap, you may still vote!

Good luck!
 
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newbie

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My entry: I used a yellow mica with increasing amounts of activated charcoal added. There are actually 9 layers and I could see the difference in tone in the micas and it SEEMED like the batter was colored differently but it's very difficult to discern the first few layers from each other. However, at least 5 layers look distinct so I went with it.

I used low water because I wanted the open working time and added MO's Spanish Fly before pouring. I had my mold out already frozen on the porch in 4 degree weather so I made each layer up, poured it in and gave it a minute to freeze. Sometimes I didn't wait quite long enough and the soap pushed the prior slushy layer but overall it went okay. What I can see with my eye and what shows up on a picture are two very different things. I can see all but the first two layers pretty clearly and I got a nice softly darkening gradient up, but I cannot for the life of me capture what I see on film. I made only one other try but I like this one better.

I realized I am more of a futzer/experimenter when it comes to soap. It was dreadfully difficult to stay with straight layers and not try some strange pour or twist somehow. However, this was satisfying to make and it made me look at a lot of videos on color mixing to come up with something I had not tried before. Thank you, Will Kempert, for your paint/color mixing youtube videos.

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CaraBou

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I aimed for a soft green spa soap with a calm, dark reflection escalating to brightness. The horizon is marked with a thin line of a/c soap. I laid seven gradations above the line and three below, but two are melded in indifference. Regardless, there are more than 5 layers above a colored base and the bulk of the soap is in gradient, as per the rules.

The camera also battled me in blue. I am a soapmaker, not a photographer. But hopefully you see and feel the green warmth to combat a bitter winter bite.

Scented with BB Grapefruit Lily, another promise that Spring is coming. See, even a naughty fragrance can play nice when the time is right!

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HowieRoll

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This soap was a two day-er, as the first day I colored/sculpted the bottom half, let it set overnight, and the following day I repeated the process and then stuck them together, praying fervently the layers would at least somewhat line up. This was actually my second attempt at this design, as the first went down in flames. The first one also had 6 layers, but I discovered that was a bit too ambitious so I scaled back this attempt to 5 layers.

The color is a 2:1 mix of Activated Charcoal:Blue Ultramarine. The lightest 2 layers have the tiniest bit of TD (1 drop on the inside layer, 4 drops on the next layer). It is scented with two kinds of Lavender, Ylang Ylang, and Bergamot EOs. The top soap in the "pyramid of soaps" (second photo) was beveled using my highly tuned precision beveling instrument (aka the vegetable peeler).

I loved doing this challenge. It was truly challenging for me due to the fact I'd not done a gradient-style soap before and coloring is not a strong suit. And then I had a design in my head and had to figure out how to execute it (which, unfortunately for my brain cells, involved a lot of math and figuring out area of right triangles and trapezoids. Thank you, Google calculator!). The sculpted part involved its own set of trials and tribulations, and while the first attempt didn't turn out it was definitely a learning experience.

Thank you, galaxyMLP, for putting together this month's challenge! It really made me step out of my comfort zone and I learned a lot and had fun doing it!

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mx6inpenn

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I went with a basic layered soap for this challenge since I had never done one before, scented with black raspberry vanilla. I did 6 layers, not counting the uncolored top. I used a method I saw in a few places around the web when researching the technique. I wanted approximately 10 fl oz for each layer, so for my initial color I poured 25 fl oz into my mixing container and added my mica mixture until I got the color I wanted to start with. I then poured 10 fl oz from that into another container and added a bit of AC, this became my first layer, followed by 10 fl oz of the initially colored portion. I refilled the container to 15 fl oz and poured 10 fluid oz for each additional layer except the last colored one, which I only filled to 10 fl oz. and poured all of. I topped it off with remaining uncolored batter and scraped out the containers for the darkest and lightest colors to make hearts on top. It was way too thick for it by that time, so I attempted to detract from messy hearts with a sprinkle of purple and gold mica.

I like the challenges, especially when it's a technique I've never tried before, like this one, because sometimes I don't try things that look too hard, or in this case, easy. I had no idea just how hard it is to get a straight layer! I wish I had thought of Newbie's stick it outside method.


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dibbles

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I don't know exactly why I've never made a gradient layer soap before. The reason is probably because I am a hopeless swirl addict. I'm happy this technique was picked for the challenge this month, because I really enjoyed it. I wanted to focus on learning how to pour straight layers, so my design is pretty basic. This is a six layer gradient, scented with 8th and Ocean and colored with Tropical Teal mica, both from Nurture Soap.

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artemis

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I was having a really hard time getting my camera to accurately show what I was seeing with my eyes! I used BB Buttermints, which smells to me like mint chocolate chip ice cream. To match the scent, used green oxide for a pale mint color at the bottom, gradually becoming a dark chocolate brown at the top, colored with cocoa powder. In the second picture, I flipped one bar, to see if it helped show the layers any better.

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redhead1226

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I had an idea but obviously didn't achieve what I was looking for. I made a round mold but I couldn't really see where I was going with the layers and the Mica I used wasn't getting lighter as it cured as I had hoped. It looked right while I was mixing it but when it dried it just wasn't right. But enjoyed making it and to me that is the entire idea behind a challenge. With all of the soap I have made and there are many, I had never done a gradient so the challenge was there. I will at some point perfect it as that's just me. But for today this is all I've got. It is nice to be surrounded by such talented and more importantly... genuine people that don't seem to take it all so seriously. It is my pleasure to be in your company.

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mommycarlson

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I have to admit, after seeing all the other beautiful entries, I almost didn't enter mine!

The FO is Blue Lagoon. I have always wanted to try a gradient soap, I had seen one on YouTube and thought it would really be pretty but I was afraid to even attempt something so difficult with my limited experience (January is my one year soapaversary) So that being said, I enjoyed the challenge, this is my second attempt, since my DIL and two grandchildren showed up after I mixed my lye water with the first attempt, I had to make the soap and I was talking to her while I was trying to layer it, strictly instructing them to stay in the living room of course.

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TeresaT

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OK. Here's my second try at this. I ended up using the same mold as the first because I really like it. However, the entire mold holds less than 450 grams oils, so it's pretty tedious to work with for five layers. The photos are crap and the layers aren't as well defined as I had hoped (you can see them though), but the top looks awesome!

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Catastrophe

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Ran out of time to do another CP, so this is MP. Not thrilled the two widest layers, but the rest turned out as planned. 8 layers total, scented with Elements' Tart Lemon FO. Micas used were Yellow Vibrance from Nurture and some samples from elsewhere.

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earlene

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Finally home again and able to clean up the soaps & get some photos. I made several attempts to get a soap that I felt met the criteria for entry. This one was the last one, made on Jan. 14, 2017 using one of my Castille Soap recipes and Nurture's Garden Alpine Green as my base color, mixed with TD to tone weaken the green as the layers were built. Scented with White Tea & Ginger FO. I used a one-pound Crafters Choice silicone mold for this one and as you can see in the photo, the layers are distinquished by the little air bubble that formed between each one at the edges of the mold. I didn't plane the air bubbles away because I thought it might help in the photo to show the actual layer distinction. To my naked eye, these layers were really hard to see in bright light, but I think they do show up pretty well in these photos.



 

galaxyMLP

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Entries are officially closed now. Voting will open a little late at around 8 pm CST (~ 3 hours from now)
 

galaxyMLP

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Having some technical difficulties/life getting in the way currently. The survey will be up within the next 2 hours for sure. I just have to get to an actual computer.
 

galaxyMLP

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I reopened the survey for Mintle but I haven't received a response yet. It's getting a little too late to wait longer for the vote so I'm releasing the winners. Thank you for understanding.

The winners for this months challenge are:

1st: Howieroll
2nd: newbie
3rd: dibbles

I was absolutely impressed with the all of these challenge entries. I didn't know what to expect but what I saw was better and above and beyond what I could've imagined. Every soap brought something unique about it to the table.

Howieroll: what an amazing, and creative soap. I could not believe the flawless execution and creativity to create a soap like that. Congratulations.

Newbie: the day you submitted, I was so impressed I showed your soap off to my boyfriend. I never would've thought to combine black and yellow. Stark, stunning soap.

Dibbles: when I look at your soap it just looks relaxing! I felt like yours matched the direction I thought most challenge entries would take, and I loved the beautiful simplicity.


We had a few others who had a pretty big chunk of the vote! Voters were pretty divided. Great job everyone!
 
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