The January Challenge was to make the Circling Taiwan Swirl. The guidelines to make the soap were very strict – in other words, there weren’t many variables to play with and get creative, and yet there are still so many different outcomes! Members were asked to provide a photo of two soaps from the end of their loaf in a mirror image to show the lotus flower pattern this technique is known for. (Some had trimmed their ends which made them appear to be middle pieces, but I verified the entries to make sure they were end pieces.) We divided the challenge into two categories: newbie and experienced. After taking a survey of our members in November I determined that about half had been making soap for less than two years, and the other half for two years or more, so that’s how I divided it. There’s incredible talent in both categories!
Our sponsor for the newbie category is Bath Alchemy Lab. Erica Pence is an excellent soap teacher and has several online classes for beginners on up. She also has some really great resources on her website that will be great for newbies! As a second time sponsor, we are very grateful to Erica for her generous prizes!
Majestic Mountain Sage is our sponsor for the experienced category. They have been a huge supporter of the Challenge Club since it started! They offer a wide variety of soapmaking supplies that will make any soapmaker happy to shop! HUGE thanks to Tina Howard and her staff for their generous prizes as well – you’ll see how much they were stretched this time around…
Let’s start with the winners in the newbie category – Congratulations goes to our grand prize winner, Carolyn Newton of Siennalily Soaps in Spain! Carolyn has been a faithful member of the Club since she started last July. She has won Sponsor’s Choice prize, but this is her first voted win! Her soap, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon came away with 63 votes. Check out the gorgeous sparkling colors and beautiful lotus flower:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Siennalily Soaps
Carolyn wins a free online class from Bath Alchemy Lab! Click on the photo of her soap to see her blog post and read more about how she made it.
Second place goes to Vivian Sullivan of Selah Artisan Soaps in North Carolina! Vivian has been a participant two other times, but this is her first win. She gained 52 votes for her beautiful soap called Lotus Dawn, a gorgeous display of the Circling Taiwan Swirl technique with perfectly contrasting colors:
Lotus Dawn by Selah Artisan Soaps
Vivian wins a $75 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab – congratulations!!
In third place with 46 votes, we have Debi Olsen from Colorado! Debi has been a hardworking member of the Club since September, moving her way up the ranks to a prize-winning position for the first time this month. Congratulations, Debi! Her soap is Bergamot & White Tea with a beautiful Spring palette of colors, and fabulous swirls:
Bergamot & White Tea soap by Debi Olsen
Debi has won a $50 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab! Be sure to click on her photo to see her Pinterest board with more info about this soap and others she made with this technique.
Finally, Bath Alchemy Lab has chosen Sumalee Duncan of Gusto Aroma in Australia to receive the Sponsor’s Choice prize! Congratulations, Sumalee! She has been a faithful member of the Challenge Club as well, and this is her first time winning a prize. Erica says, “I like the colors A LOT and her design is very different than the rest.” She’s right! Check out her beautiful soap:
Black Amber & Lavender soap by Gusto Aroma
Sumalee wins a $25 gift certificate from Bath Alchemy Lab! Click on her photo to see her Facebook album with more photos and information about her soap.
And now for the experienced category…this was a tight race, people!!
The grand prize goes to Janie Hadsel of Lucky Duck Soap and Spa, LLC in Colorado – a recent re-location for her from South Carolina! Congratulations, Janie – I hope this helps you settle into your new space! Janie received 59 votes for her Lavender Citrus soap which is a perfect example of this technique, with its clean line swirls and beautiful color palette:
Lavender Citrus soap by Lucky Duck Soap and Spa, LLC
Janie wins a $100 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage! Click on the photo for more info and photos from Janie’s blog post.
And here is where our contest got really tight…the following three members all tied for second place with 44 votes each:
Congratulaions to Tia Giesemann of That Green Stuff in Australia, Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap By Steso in California, and Odette Handley of Riverlea Soaps in South Africa!! Each of these ladies has won a $75 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage!
Let’s start with Tia’s soap. This is Tia’s first time competing in the Challenge Club, and her soap is called Carnivale for its “bright popping colors”. She did an amazing job, don’t you think?
Carnivale soap by That Green Stuff
Click on the photo to see more photos and her other attempts at this technique.
Next we have Tatiana’s soap. Tatiana is a seasoned member of the Challenge Club and it’s no surprise that she has created yet another masterpiece. The colors are inspired by a photo of a life preserver with a blue rope on a golden yellow background. You’ll have to click on the photo to check it out:
Circling Taiwan Swirl soap by Tatiana Serko
And now for Odette’s soap. Odette has been a faithful member of the Challenge Club as well, even sponsoring one of our challenges! Her Circling Taiwan Swirl soap has a fantastic lotus pattern and charming color palette:
Circling Taiwan Swirl soap by Riverlea Soap
In third place we have Jennifer Watters from Arizona! This is Jennifer’s first time participating and she received 34 votes for her elegant Twilight Blossom soap. The richness of the black center of the soap is highlighted by pink & white swirl and surrounded by a deep blue:
Twilight Blossom soap by Jennifer Watters
Finally, Majestic Mountain Sage has chosen Jolene Sing of Scent & Sensibility in Canada to receive their Sponsor’s Choice prize, a $25 gift certificate. Tina chose this soap because as she says, “The shower/bath is a spiritual time for me and I am not drawn to the ultra bold color.” Congratulations to Jolene for all her hard work paying off! Her Peacock soap has the most lovely wispy swirls:
Peacock soap by Scent & Sensibility
Such amazing talent – and you haven’t even seen all the entries yet! Be sure to check them out HERE.
Next month we are doing a theme challenge called Winter Wonderland! You won’t want to miss it! The challenge will be divided in two categories once again – this time natural vs. synthetic. Only one entry per member – choose one or the other. Soaps entered in the natural category must be made with all natural ingredients, including colors and scents. Those in the synthetic category may use synthetic colors and/or scents. The sponsor for the natural category will be Brambleberry, and for the synthetic category will be Nurture Soap.
Here’s the soap I made for the video tutorial with all natural ingredients:
Winter Wonderland soap by Great Cakes Soapworks
Registration will open Monday, February 1st for this challenge. If you would like to be notified, please sign up here: