Location Theme Soap Challenge April 12, 2016 22:00 32 Comments

For this month's soap challenge participants are to create a soap that shows what is special about where you live.  Being born and raised in Utah, I know many special things about this state. A few special places stuck in my mind, Arches, Zions, and Canyonlands National Parks.  All of these places put an imprint in my brain from the first time I visited as a young teen in the early 80's.  I have many old pictures with my family when we went there on vacations there multiple times.  


So here are the guidelines for this challenge.  Molds are restricted to slab or log, not vertical or individual cavity molds allowed in the making of your final soap.  The majority of the soap needs to be made with either cold process soap, but can include herbs & botanical as embellishments and m&p for small embeds.  Participants are to include the story behind their soap that they created.  

Since I am creating a soap that will show the beauty of Arches National Park, my plan is to mold my arch from cold process soap and embed it in my final batch.  I have seen wonderful hand molded soap embeds made by Sorcery Soap, so I went online to her blog for information about how to do this. Here is a link to that post.  http://sorcerysoap.com/soap-molding-consistency/

I began by making a small one pound batch of soap, splitting it into six different colors.



 I used French yellow clay, Rhassoul clay, rose kaolin clay, Moroccan red clay, sea clay and umber brown mica.  I also added walnut shell powder for texture.



 Once everything was mixed I poured them into a mold, the next morning I removed them and placed them in plastic bags until I was ready to start molding and making my arch by hand.


Here are a few pictures of the inspiration for my soap.

 Image result for pictures of arches national park utah Image result for pictures of arches national park utah  



 My plan was to make nine arches.  The first three were a blast to make, but by arch number five, it became more tedious and less fun.  I ended up making only six arches.


As you can see each and every single arch is different, but that's what you get when you are crafting by hand.  I let the embeds dry overnight.  Time to make "the batch".  Here is a picture of my slab mold all prepared.  I only used four of the dividers because of the size of my handmade arches.  Yes, they seemed to get bigger and bigger with each one I made.  I made additional dividers to go inside each section out of some flexible plastic craft sheeting.  These little dividers were used to separate the sky and ground in my soap picture.


The colors I chose were baby blue mica and titanium dioxide (pot swirl) for the sky and brown oxide and red iron oxide (pot swirl) for the ground.  Once I had that poured I placed my embeds in, then mica painted each one for additional detail with sunset orange mica, red vibrance mica, umber brown mica and ivory lace mica mixed with olive oil.


I could have seriously painted for hours.  Sometimes it's hard to know when to stop.  The next pictures are of them wet in the mold.


The next day I trimmed and beveled the edges and took a million picture.  Not really, but you know a lot of pictures.  Picking the best arch soap for my entry was hard.  Each one seems to have its own personality and uniqueness that I could look at for what seemed like hours.  Decisions.  Decisions.  This is what I decided with the help of my husband. Thank goodness for him or I'd still be deciding.


If you ever get a chance to visit Utah, I highly recommend visiting any of the national parks in southern part of the state, but particularly Arches.  It is mesmerizing.