March Soap Challenge - It's Eggcelent!

The technique for March is called “Inlaid Designs” as it mimics other inlaid art as defined by Wikipedia: “Inlay covers a range of techniques in sculpture and the decorative arts for inserting pieces of contrasting, often colored materials into depressions in a base object to form ornament or pictures that normally are flush with the matrix.” This technique is more commonly used in woodworking, but in this case I carved out soap to add more soap that contrasted in color. This challenge was really an opportunity to let my creativity shine, which you’ll see got me in a bit of trouble at some point during this challenge.

The first thing I did was come up with an idea or theme. I looked at a lot of art - specifically cubism and abstract art. That is one of my favorite styles, especially when lots of colors are incorporated. Ya’ll know I am all about my colors. As I searched tirelessly for an image that inspired me, I ran across a bunch that I loved, but didn’t necessarily want to execute for this challenge because I was worried the colors could get muddled and the design would be lost. I shifted gears and thought to myself, “what holiday is actually coming up soon?” Easter! When trying to think of designs becomes too stressful, pick a holiday. They’ll always be there. lol

I started with making my base - that was the part of the soap I would be carving for the decorative eggs. Once I got done pouring my base, I thought it would be fun to add a whimsical touch of carrot and decorative egg embeds for the top of my soap. I worked on those for hours. Whew, that alone was a lot. I had cute little carrots and used mica from Mad Micas and 91% alcohol to paint all my tiny eggs.

Piping away at the soap grass.

The next day, I unmolded my soap base and started piping the tops with “grass” which was just cold process soap. Apparently the soap grass was a reflection of how much I hate cutting grass because I made way too much and my grass ended up being way too high. It was great for the eggs and carrots to hide though, so it worked out. I let the soap grass harden for another 24 hours.

Once the grass hardened up, it was time to start carving out my base. I ended up carving out three eggs on each soap bar I made. Once the soap was hollowed out, I piped cold process soap into each section. I ended up with more than I needed, so I had extra soap for another soap project in the near future.

I just finished carving out the soap and now adding more soap to the sections.

Once the soap in the carved section hardened up the next day, I started in with adding more detail elements to the soap by carving out more soap and adding soap dough. I ended up carving out grass, tulips, and decorations for the eggs on each bar. I ended up making a total of 7 bars in all!

It was so much work, but it was well worth it. It wasn’t without mishaps though. My first edition of this soap actually included a rope, which I thought would be cool because you could carry the soap like you had an Easter basket - clever right? Well, it was against the rules, so I ended up removing the rope. Fortunately it didn’t really damage the soaps at all, so I just resubmitted without the rope. That was the least of my problems, so I’ll take it!

Overall this challenge was great! I learned so much using this technique and I plan on using it in the near future for a very special project I have coming up with my son Russell for autism awareness.

What did you think of this technique and/or this design? Would you like to see me do more designs that incorporate this technique? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Andrea Davis6 Comments