SMF July 2020 Challenge - Welded Soap

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earlene

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Welcome to the July 2020 SMF Challenge: Soap Welding. We have discussed this technique a few times on SMF, so I thought it would be fun to have a challenge where we could design our own Welded Soaps. After reading about the technique in Grace's ebook, I tried it out last year to see how well the soap would stick together with use in the bath and at sink-side. The soap I made held together all throughout it's lifetime, never falling apart at the seam where it was 'welded' together.

PLEASE READ ALL RULES for the challenge

SMF Challenge General Rules

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

2. The only members eligible to vote are those with their names on the sign-up list - regardless of whether or not you have submitted an entry. The sign-up list will be posted in this thread.

3. This month’s voting will be password locked. Passwords will be sent by private message (via SMF conversations) to registered participants ONLY, so please check your messages when the voting begins.

4. Please do not post photos of your entry until the entry thread is opened. Non-entry photos are very welcome and may be posted in this thread. The challenge thread should be used to upload pictures of any of your challenge attempts (other than your entry) where you can ask for advice and discuss the technique with other members, and provide helpful hints you learned along the way.

5. Your soap must be made after the monthly challenge has been announced.

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

7. 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 a soap for the challenge. Writing about your experience in the challenge is encouraged. By doing so, each participate has a better knowledge of your 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 not in the spirit of the challenges and is not allowed.

8. 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.

9. 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 July 23, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter).

· After the closing date on July 29, 2020 at 5:59 am GMT (the winning entry will be chosen using Survey Monkey (Voting will be open from July 29 to Aug 1, 2020 - voting will end at 3 am GMT on Aug 1) and the winner will be announced on Aug 1st around 4 a.m. GMT or sooner if all votes are received before the voting closing date/time. There is no prize attached to this challenge.

· If you fail to make the challenge deadline, you are still welcome to upload pictures of your soap onto the thread, but your entry will not be eligible for voting. We always 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, 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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SPECIFIC RULES FOR THIS CHALLENGE:

The soap design you choose must use the Soap Welding technique as laid out by Grace E. Holloway (fromgracetoyou.com) in the references listed below. You may do something similar to what she has done, or you may create a new design of your own making, as long as you use Grace's soap welding technique, which includes making the soap, cutting it into different pieces and fitting the pieces together in a design (similar to a jigsaw puzzle) then 'welding' the pieces together with heat to ensure the pieces stick together cohesively.

Grace's ebook and 2 of her videos describe and demonstrate this technique.

Chapter 10 on Soap Welding from the ebook, Creating Soap Art: http://www.fromgracetoyou.com/creatingsoapart/chapter10.pdf

The entire 247 page ebook, Creating Soap Art: http://www.fromgracetoyou.com/creatingsoapart/ebook.pdf

Grace's videos wherein she makes Welded soap:

Grace cuts different colored soaps into geometric shapes and fits different colored shapes together, then 'welds' them to create new bars of soap.

Grace stacks slices of soap with messages and welds the slices together to create bars of soap.

The welding process begins at 8:52 (time)


Some photos of welded soaps:

1593713962984.png
Welded Message Soap by Grace Holloway
fromgracetoyoullc.com

1593714228164.png
Geometric Welded Soap by Grace (fromgracetoyou.com)

1593714296195.png
Impressionist Fish Welded Soap
by Grace Holloway
(fromgracetoyou.com)

Actually some of you may have already done something like the Welding of layers of soap without calling it the 'Soap Welding' technique, by layering different soaps together to create a design and then heating the soap in the oven to create a cohesive loaf or bars of soap. I know I have and believe others here may have as well, because in reality I don't think this is a new idea, but a creative mind chose to give it a name and share her experience with the rest of us.


My experimental attempt:
1593717146363.png

I am sorry I did not make more welded soaps to picture here, as I had hoped I would, so please refer the videos above and Grace's ebook.



For further techniques from Grace not necessarily related to soap welding:

The entire 260 page ebook, Creating Soap Art Part2: http://www.fromgracetoyou.com/creatingsoapart/ebook2.pdf

EDITED to put date and times into GMT. Please forgive me if I mess up on this when it comes time to figure open voting and announce the winners, as this time zone stuff gets me every time.
 
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szaza

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
 

MarnieSoapien

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
3. MarnieSoapien _ This looks like fun!
 

dibbles

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
3. MarnieSoapien _ This looks like fun!
4. dibbles - soap welding it is!
 

bookreader451

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
3. MarnieSoapien _ This looks like fun!
4. dibbles - soap welding it is!
5. bookreader451 - 7 months in, can't chicken out now!
 
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TashaBird

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Where can I see if I’ve made 50 posts?
 

earlene

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I'm sorry, I forgot to put up the sign-up list!

Edit: Oops, the previous messages did not all show up when I posted this message, so carry on!
 
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Anstarx

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
3. MarnieSoapien _ This looks like fun!
4. dibbles - soap welding it is!
5. bookreader451 - 7 months in, can't chicken out now!
6. Anstarx - ooh I always wondered if this would work! I already have a design in mind!

Quick question though. The tutorials given were made using slab mold and weld each individual soap? Do I have to weld them individually too or can I make loaves, Cut them into different shaped loaves, weld them together then slice into bars?
 
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earlene

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Quick question though. The tutorials given were made using slab mold and weld each individual soap? Do I have to weld them individually too or can I make loaves, Cut them into different shaped loaves, weld them together then slice into bars?
No, Anstarx, you won't have to create each bar individually if your design does not require that. I am fine with welding differently shaped loaves together and then slicing the bars from the finished molded soap. Please let your creative juices flow!
 

earlene

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Ah! It says “messages”.
Yeah, with each update, forum hosts seem to have a need to alter things like that just enough to create a little confusion, right? That 'messages' used to be 'posts'. Do you remember 'private messages' in forums? Those are now called 'conversations', but we often refer to those as PMs which might be why forum hosts moved away from calling them private messages. :)
 

glendam

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
3. MarnieSoapien _ This looks like fun!
4. dibbles - soap welding it is!
5. bookreader451 - 7 months in, can't chicken out now!
6. Anstarx - ooh I always wondered if this would work! I already have a design in mind!
7. glendam - sounds intriguing
 

TheGecko

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1. AMD - not sure how I feel about firing up the oven in this heat!
2. szaza - always wanted to try this!
3. MarnieSoapien _ This looks like fun!
4. dibbles - soap welding it is!
5. bookreader451 - 7 months in, can't chicken out now!
6. Anstarx - ooh I always wondered if this would work! I already have a design in mind!
7. glendam - sounds intriguing
8. TheGecko - Looks Easy Enough
 

earlene

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So.... Do I have to make a bunch of new batches of soap to cut up and "weld" together?
Question #1: No, not if you want to enter your soap into this month's challenge.

Rule #5. Your soap must be made after the monthly challenge has been announced.


IF you want to experiment, however, for practice, not as an entry, AND if the old soap is still soft enough that you can cut it to your desired shapes, I say go for it. But you would not be able to enter in this month's challenge.


Does this work with soap that's been sitting for a while?
When I made my experimental soap, I used soap I had cut into long strips and tightly wrapped in plastic kitchen wrap (Saran wrap) so it was still easily cut with a soap cutter.

The other suggestion that seems to be implied if not specified in Grace's instructions, is that the recipe for all parts of the resulting soap were made with the exact same recipe. Even the embeds for the Message Soap, were the same recipe; in fact she poured the embeds first before she made the rest of the soap.

I don't know (because I have not tried) if the pieces of the design will work when the recipes are dissimilar. They may, but then again, they may not.
 

bookreader451

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I am also thinking that for this challenge I can use a FO that moves a little quicker since I don’t need a lot of time to design while actually making the soap.
 

earlene

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Question #1: No, not if you want to enter your soap into this month's challenge.

Rule #5. Your soap must be made after the monthly challenge has been announced.
I am sorry, I just realized my answer may have been unclear. What I meant to say was No, not if you DON'T want to enter your soap into this month's challenge. Or in other words, No, not unless you DO want to enter your soap into this month's challenge.

I hope that doesn't create a problem for anyone.
 

artemis

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I am sorry, I just realized my answer may have been unclear...
I picked up the meaning from the rest of the context.

The only problem this causes me personally is that I'm a hobby soaper with limited space. I made soap two months in a row, so we are more than stocked. It's an interesting idea, though, and I'll probably play around with what I have without entering.
 
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