4th of July Carved Soap June 18, 2016 09:47 1 Comment
I am getting ready for the 4th of July, it's one of my favorite holidays. I wanted to do something special for customers who love this holiday as well. I'm feeling patriotic and I love to be creative and learn new techniques as well so I started searching. I came across a chip wood carving tutorial on Youtube. Wow! Now that is really neat looking. I was so surprised at what they can do with a piece of bass wood, totally turning it into a work of art all with mainly one knife and it really looked like fun. I just might pick it up as a new hobby.
I decided to apply the same technique of wood chip carving, but do it to the soaps. I got out my old trusty 4 lb silicone mold, my soap recipe and my colors. I chose klien blue mica and firecraker red mica, both are from Nurture Soap. I also used titanium dioxide (white). Now all my colors are ready and waiting for me to make the soap.
Once I had the soap to trace I divided it into three bowls and added the colors, mixed then in a larger bowl I began pouring. First red, then white, then the blue, just small amounts on top of each other over and over until there was no more soap. I poured it into the flat mold trying to keep the stripes all the same way. I used a fondant textures to make the bumpy lines on the bottom (which is the top that you see in the picture.
I let the soap set in the mold for two whole days. I wanted to be sure that it was hard enough and I would be able to remove it from the mold easily. Once out of the mold I cut it into to bars and let it sit for a few more days before I started carving.
I needed to find some wood chip patterns and some tools to do the job. I have a craft knife set that I knew I would use, but I also borrow clay tools from my mom. I found some free patterns online. Below is an example of one of them.
Once I decided on which design I was going to do, I used a piece of wax paper and traced over the top with a fine tip permanent marker. I cut the wax paper to fit my soap so that I wouldn't be fighting with it when I trace it on.
To make an imprint on my soap, I traced over the top of the template that I made with a ball point pen. Take note not to push to hard as you can ruin your template and poke holes in the soap. I went over the template a couple of times to make sure I could see the pattern well enough.
Pattern transferred, on to carving. Pictured below was the first soap. I took pictures in stages so that you could see the progress. The tool I used the most was a craft knife from the set I own and a clay tool that has a sharp needle point on one end. I like how this one looks like a flag background.
I made a total of eleven carved soaps, one was my practice bar and will end up being a sample for a customer. Here are the rest of them a long with the pattern that I traced and used. I made my own templates for the borders.
I guess I must have gotten to wrapped up in carving because I forgot to take pictures of two of them with their patterns. Below are pictures of all of them cleaned, beveled and pretty.
This was a great project. I had so much fun carving these patriotic soaps. Which one is your favorite? I'm still deciding. I will definitely do soap carving in the future. The creativity is endless with it, holidays and special events would be great inspiration for carving a beautiful soap. I do plan to learn on wood and really perfect my skills of wood chip carving as well. I hope everyone feels inspired and crafty now. Go out and create something awesome. :)
Until next time,