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SMF September 2020 Challenge - Marble Stone Inspired Soap

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earlene

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Welcome to the September 2020 SMF Soap Challenge. This month’s challenge is the Marble Stone Inspired Soap. I do not really know who first intentionally created a soap that looked like Marble Stone. As it happens, when I was trying to decide on this month's challenge, choosing between a few ideas that have been running around in my head, Marble Soap videos kept popping up on my YouTube Feed in notices on my phone. I think that's what influenced me to choose Marble Soap this month. It wasn't until I realized that one of those videos actually mentioned Amy Warden's Challenge just this past July was on Marble Soaps! I had already begun making soaps and putting this together, but considered choosing something else. In the end, however, I didn't really want to switch gears midstream and decided to go ahead with the Marble Soap Challenge anyway. I am sure some of you don't keep up with Amy's monthly challenges and, even if you do, may want to give this a try. I haven't participated in about a year, myself, which is why I had not realized it was so recently used elsewhere.

In any case, I enjoyed making soap with a particular object made of marble as my inspiration, so chose to use that as part of this challenge. I will show examples & descriptions of some of that in my soaps below toward the end of this post.

Doing a youtube search I found an abundance of videos as far back as 2012 which show soap that looks like marble to me, although the first one wasn't really described or called a marble soap; it just looks like one to me. Others I include here are more recent within the past 4 - 5 years. So I really cannot attribute this to any one soap artist. Perhaps in Amy's Challenge, she did, but I haven't read that, so I will leave that to someone else to clarify.

PLEASE READ ALL RULES for the challenge.

SMF Challenge General Rules

1. To enter you must have a minimum of 50 posts and have been a SMF 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 always 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 soap making 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 participant 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 (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 keep your comments polite.


· Competition entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date. The entry thread will open on September 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm GMT (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter).

· After the closing date on September 27, 2020 at 2:00 pm GMT the winning entry will be chosen using Survey Monkey. Voting will be open from September 28 through September 30, 2020 at 2:00 pm, and the winner will be announced on September 30, 2020. 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 created.

· 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.


SPECIFIC RULES FOR THE September, 2020 CHALLENGE

1. You will base your Marble Inspired Soap design on any marble stone of your choosing.

2. Using one or more of the techniques described in the videos below, you will create a soap representative of your chosen marble stone object.

3. You may use any size mold, however, a slab mold or a standard log/loaf mold are better suited, particularly if you choose the horizontal cut.

4. You may choose to use any single or combination of techniques described/shown in the material below and use whatever tools assist you in obtaining your desired result.

5. When separating out batter for creating veins in the marble, use VERY LITTLE batter for this. Too much of a secondary color does not end up looking like veins, but lines.

6. You may choose to cut the soap horizontally as is done in some of the videos, or you may choose the cut vertically, depending on your chosen technique and your specific soap.

7. Your Entry picture(s) must include an image of your inspiration marble object (this can be something you own, have seen & have a photo, or an internet obtained image) AND a photo of at least 2 bars of soap from your batch. If you upload more than one picture to the entry thread, please upload the photo you want to be used in the voting survey first. Otherwise, make a note stating which photo you would like to be included in the survey.


Helpful tips:

1. Choose a Marble stone you visually enjoy as your inspiration. The possibilities of where to find Marble for inspiration are abundant. Museums & Government buildings often have marble floors, walls, statues, etc. that may serve as your inspiration. If you have photos in your collection of past travels, you may find your inspiration in them. Perhaps you prefer to peruse the internet to find natural Marble Caves or other phenomena in nature that produces Marble as your inspiration.

2. Watch & review videos for ideas of how to obtain the design within your inspiration marble.

3. If you choose to use a mica sprayer, wear an N95 face mask (or better) as well as goggles to protect your respiratory system & eyes. The mica sprayer I used, sent metallic mica particles all over! I found that tapping a mesh strainer caused far less waste and was no where near the breathing hazard.

4. If you are unsure which cut you prefer, cut a section of your soap horizontally and another section of it vertically. I found that even soap I intended for a vertical (standard loaf style cut) looked quite attractive cut horizontally.

5. Choose your recipe & fragrance to fit the technique you plan to use. For example, if your design goal requires pouring layers at thick trace, a fragrance that speeds trace can assist. (See the videos for examples.)

6. More useful tips are included in some of the videos. Be sure to share any you have here on the thread as well.


Good luck everyone, and have fun! I'm looking forward to seeing what you make.


I found 3 basic methods used in these videos, often in combination :

1. In-the-Pot Swirl (and in at least one case, and In the Mold Swirl) - (with & without tilting the mold) (with or without pencil lines)
2. Layering (with & without tilting the mold) (with or without pencil lines)
3. Pencil/Mica Lines (with & without tilting the mold) (in combination with #1 or #2 above)

Technique videos:

ITP pour videos:

By soap artist: Teressa Mahoney Mahoney Limited - Nourishing Handmade Body Care - Nov 2016

By soap artist: 茅寶村 - Dec 2018

By soap artist: tellervo - Aug 2019

By soap artist: tellervo - Aug 2019

By soap artist: Creamy Obsession - July 2020
One portion of this soap is marbled: the first 95 seconds of the video shows the artist creating a marbled effect with a thicker trace batter and only one pour. Finished soap is shown at beginning as well as at the end.


technique videos continued in next post
 
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earlene

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SMF September 2020 Challenge - Marble Stone Inspired Soap continued:

Layering single colors
By soap artist: Humblebee & Me - March 2019

Pencil Line method (see variations obtained with changing the way the soap is cut):
By soap artist: Shira Body - Sept 2019 - She has additional videos using this technique.

By soap artist: Soaping101 - Sept 2012 - Although this instructional video on how to do a pencil line, does not say it is creating a marble soap, Kathy’s resulting soap looks like a marble soap to me, & the method is easy to replicate.
How to Make a Pencil Line {soap mica line}

By (soap artist: Pirate and Pearl Soap Co. ) - Dec 2019
The Making of Marble Soap; Cold Process Soap

Some Marble Soaps I made using these techniques:


Inspiration: Statuary Marble
View media item 2787
Inspiration: Black Marble Vanity top in my first Condo (look similar to this)
View media item 2788

Inspiration: Rosso-Francia Marble (an example)
View media item 2786
 
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earlene

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SMF September Challenge - Marble Soap Sign Up List

To add your name to this list, choose Reply & add your name to the bottom of the list, ensuring the next number for the next entrant is also added. Thank you.


Sign Up List:

1.
 

Primrose

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1. Catscankim have been wanting to try this technique
2. Primrose - love this style! Hopefully I dont lose my marbles trying to achieve it ...

SO EXCITED to see that this is this months challenge! It has been on my list for a while now, AND I've been absent from the forum and from soapmaking for a while but I now have a bit of time to get back to it so this is definitely going to be happening soon. Wooooo!
 

earlene

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Earlene I think you've really nailed this technique, your example soaps are just gorgeous
Thank you, Primrose. I really wanted to get this right. There are some much more elaborate Marble designs in nature than the ones I used for inspiration. One day I would love to see some of them in person, like the Caves in Patagonia, Chile.
 

Arimara

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1. Catscankim have been wanting to try this technique
2. Primrose - love this style! Hopefully I dont lose my marbles trying to achieve it ...
3. Arimara - I may fail but at least I'm experienced with this brand of fail. XD
 

dibbles

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@earlene, I had paid for the September Soap Challenge Club, but decided to just sit it out as I knew my available time to make soap was going to be pretty limited. That challenge was very specific in that a requirement was to create a soap that looked as much like natural true marble as possible. Not everything that pops up labeled 'marble' doing an internet image search is actually true marble. The name has become somewhat generic among producers of tile and counter tops, etc. Not always, but in general, true marble is neutral or pastel in color. If I remember correctly, an inspiration picture was required, but I'm not sure about that. I think you are more interested in techniques and getting a result that looks like it could be marble, and not as much that it strictly adheres to the natural colors of true marble? As to the originator of marble soap, I don't thing there was a specific person credited, other than showcasing a maker's technique which inspired the challenge.

As I said, I didn't participate in this challenge, and have never done a marble soap myself so I can't really give any insight. Maybe someone who did take part will have something more to offer.
 

AliOop

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I did participate in the July Marble challenge with Soap Challenge Club. The most challenging part of it was finding an inspiration picture that looked like true geological marble, and then sticking closely to that. Turned out that the first one I chose was not considered geological marble by the geologists who were helping with that challenge, and I was asked to change my entry or move it to the non-competitive category. However, at the time of voting, I saw that someone else entered a soap based on that same marble; apparently the challenge leaders didn't catch it.

I'm not upset about that in the least (it's soap, and I wasn't in the running for any prizes, lol). But I do want to point out that determining what is true marble, and then policing all the entries to make sure they qualify, will add a significant amount of extra work for @earlene. She's in charge of the challenge, so if she's up for that, great. I would have no problem with whatever way she decides to go - but it probably should be clarified which way that is.
 

dibbles

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I did participate in the July Marble challenge with Soap Challenge Club. The most challenging part of it was finding an inspiration picture that looked like true geological marble, and then sticking closely to that. Turned out that the first one I chose was not considered geological marble by the geologists who were helping with that challenge, and I was asked to change my entry or move it to the non-competitive category. However, at the time of voting, I saw that someone else entered a soap based on that same marble; apparently the challenge leaders didn't catch it.

I'm not upset about that in the least (it's soap, and I wasn't in the running for any prizes, lol). But I do want to point out that determining what is true marble, and then policing all the entries to make sure they qualify, will add a significant amount of extra work for @earlene. She's in charge of the challenge, so if she's up for that, great. I would have no problem with whatever way she decides to go - but it probably should be clarified which way that is.
It doesn't seem like, and I really don't think, she's looking for the soaps to adhere strictly to geological marble. She just mentioned in the OP that someone might be able to clarify.

And re-reading, she does want an inspiration picture. And she wasn't asking for clarification on the marble, only on whether or not someone was credited with the idea for a marble soap. Sorry earlene, I should have re-read before I posted.

ETA: Also, your example soaps are beautiful!
 

dibbles

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1. Catscankim have been wanting to try this technique
2. Primrose - love this style! Hopefully, I don't lose my marbles trying to achieve it ...
3. Arimara - I may fail but at least I'm experienced with this brand of fail. XD
4. Elizevh - Oooh, So Pretty. I can't wait to try this out.
5. dibbles - Hoping I can make something resembling marble
 

AliOop

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It doesn't seem like, and I really don't think, she's looking for the soaps to adhere strictly to geological marble. She just mentioned in the OP that someone might be able to clarify.
I apologize, I should have been more clear in my post... I'm a little bleary after a long day.

@earlene must the inspiration picture for this challenge be a geological marble, or will something commonly known as marble be acceptable? Thank you for clarifying, and for heading up this challenge. Your sample soaps are gorgeous.
 

MarnieSoapien

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1. Catscankim have been wanting to try this technique
2. Primrose - love this style! Hopefully, I don't lose my marbles trying to achieve it ...
3. Arimara - I may fail but at least I'm experienced with this brand of fail. XD
4. Elizevh - Oooh, So Pretty. I can't wait to try this out.
5. dibbles - Hoping I can make something resembling marble
6. MarnieSoapien - Eeeee! I'm super excited to try this technique!
 

bookreader451

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1. Catscankim have been wanting to try this technique
2. Primrose - love this style! Hopefully, I don't lose my marbles trying to achieve it ...
3. Arimara - I may fail but at least I'm experienced with this brand of fail. XD
4. Elizevh - Oooh, So Pretty. I can't wait to try this out.
5. dibbles - Hoping I can make something resembling marble
6. MarnieSoapien - Eeeee! I'm super excited to try this technique!
7. Bookreader451 - just got a new slab mold and now I can put it to use!
 

earlene

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@earlene must the inspiration picture for this challenge be a geological marble, or will something commonly known as marble be acceptable? Thank you for clarifying, and for heading up this challenge. Your sample soaps are gorgeous.
No, I am certainly not planning on policing the choices of your inspirational marble objects for their geological authenticity! Not only am I not qualified, nor do I have the time, nor inclination, I am not so much of a perfectionist that I believe it matters and really that would certainly add too much stress. PLEASE do not stress yourselves over the choice of your inspiration object. If it looks like marble to you and it's called marble, for all intents and purposes, that is all that is necessary. What is more important is that you truly enjoy the visual aspect of your inspiration object (that to you looks like marble stone) and that you have fun creating a soap that is representative of that object. And even then, don't stress over perfection. The purpose is to have fun in the creation, ENJOY yourselves doing this, please.

Yes!!! I've been planning a marble soap for weeks! But I was planning to put a small leaf embed in the middle, would that violate the rules?
That's an interesting question and when I review the rules above, I don't see anything that would disallow it. It also took me back to that 'what is geological marble?' question when I said I wouldn't do that and don't really think it matters so much, but still, I had to look for the heck of it. As it turns out, it seems fossils embedded in stone can and do sometimes survive (at least in some part) in some cases as the stone becomes marble, according to this Britannica article:

The change from limestones rich in fossils into true marbles in such metamorphic regions is a common phenomenon; occasionally, as at Carrara, Italy, and at Bergen, Norway, recrystallization of the rock has not completely obliterated the organic structures.
reference: marble | Definition, Types, Uses, & Facts

So, there, I put on my science-hat (I am NOT a scientist, nor do I play one on TV) just for a moment because I found this to be a fun and interesting idea. Go for it, GemstonePony. I am looking forward to seeing your marble soap with small leaf fossil.
 

bookreader451

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GemstonePony

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No, I am certainly not planning on policing the choices of your inspirational marble objects for their geological authenticity! Not only am I not qualified, nor do I have the time, nor inclination, I am not so much of a perfectionist that I believe it matters and really that would certainly add too much stress. PLEASE do not stress yourselves over the choice of your inspiration object. If it looks like marble to you and it's called marble, for all intents and purposes, that is all that is necessary. What is more important is that you truly enjoy the visual aspect of your inspiration object (that to you looks like marble stone) and that you have fun creating a soap that is representative of that object. And even then, don't stress over perfection. The purpose is to have fun in the creation, ENJOY yourselves doing this, please.



That's an interesting question and when I review the rules above, I don't see anything that would disallow it. It also took me back to that 'what is geological marble?' question when I said I wouldn't do that and don't really think it matters so much, but still, I had to look for the heck of it. As it turns out, it seems fossils embedded in stone can and do sometimes survive (at least in some part) in some cases as the stone becomes marble, according to this Britannica article:

reference: marble | Definition, Types, Uses, & Facts

So, there, I put on my science-hat (I am NOT a scientist, nor do I play one on TV) just for a moment because I found this to be a fun and interesting idea. Go for it, GemstonePony. I am looking forward to seeing your marble soap with small leaf fossil.
Fantastic!
 

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