Stretching my limits

Those of you that know mi, know I am a complete sucker for a landscape soap. It is truly my favourite form of soapy expression. So when the Soap Challenge Club had a landscape category for January’s challenge I just had to sign up.

Since having kids I have found a renewed love for Dr Seuss and love the messages in his books. One of those books being The Lorax. It is so relevant in today’s world where consumerism and commerce is valued over people and the environment. So for this challenge my landscape is entitled ‘The Last Truffula Tree’.

This challenge totally stretched my skills far beyond anywhere I have ever been before. I took on four new techniques, yes, you read correctly, FOUR new techniques. Clearly I am a sucker for punishment!!

How I did it

My plan was to use varying degrees of black, grey and white to show how colourless our world would be once we had finally chopped down the last tree. The fragrance used was a combination of ylang ylang and bergamot essential oils for a sweet, earthy scent.

The hill – this was the first of the new techniques. I created an ombre effect to show the gradient of light moving across a hill. This was achieved using only activated charcoal to progressively make the batter darker. A shaper was used to shape the batter into a hill shape. This was then topped off with a sprinkling of activated charcoal to further define the shape.

My first ombre hill shaped

Tree trunk –my next new technique. It was moulded from black and yellow soap dough into the shape I needed. Of course, keeping the trunk in place took a combination of pegs, wooden skewers and elastic bands (MacGyver would be proud!)

Soap Dough Tree Trunk

Tree top and sky – the rest of the soap was all done in one pour so I had to be on the ball here. Splitting the batter in four (white, two shades of grey and yellow for the tree top), a modified cosmic swirl (new technique number 3 if you’re still counting!) was used for the sky and poured that gently around the trunk. I then placed some of the yellow around the top of the trunk and used a skewer to try get the ‘fluffy’ look of the truffula tree. Then came time to place the circle embed. This is something I do all the time when I make my other landscape soaps but trying to keep this slippery minx near the trunk was a whole different ballgame! Finally I poured the rest of the sky and the yellow. And that was the loaf filled.

Finishing Up

But where’s technique number 4 I hear you cry! I may be bad at math but I promise I didn’t lie. (See what I did there.)

When scraping away the shape of the hill, the batter was placed in a piping bag and piped on top of the loaf. This was another technique I have been so excited to try and finished off the soap perfectly.

My First Piping Attempt

This soap, while hopefully is pleasing to the eye, will also get people thinking about their use of our world’s resources. #loveourplanet