Soap painting has always intrigued me, so I was excited to see that this month’s Soap Challenge Club is based on the art of Ebru paper marbling. After watching many, many videos of both paper marbling and soap making using this technique, my head was spinning and full of ideas!
I really like this Soaping101 video showing multiple Ebru designs, and I especially like watching the making of flowers like this. Such beautiful and intricate designs! The flowers are especially inspiring to me, and I had some delicious Apricot Freesia fragrance on hand that I’ve been wanting to use. Perfect! I looked up some photos of freesias, and this one in particular really spoke to me, so I wanted to design something similar in my soap.
I used Amy’s slow-moving recipe, adding a bit of sugar to the lye for a bubblier lather, as well as some milk, colloidal oatmeal, and silk for their luxurious benefits. Colorants included activated charcoal, titanium dioxide, green mica, yellow oxide, and blue oxide. My goal was to set a leafy backdrop with dark grays and greens, and then to make some white flowers with yellow accents.
First, I poured gray soap into the mold, and then I added drops of two different green colors, as well as a few drops of black and yellow for contrast.
Using a skewer, I made long strokes down the entire length of my mold, back and forth in an attempt to make leaves of tall grass. I learned from this that less is certainly more. I added too much soap, too many drops, too close together.
Next, I added pools of white, trying to fit one flower into the space for each bar of soap in this 9-bar Brambleberry slab mold.
Next came some yellow spots for accent coloring inside the flowers.
My husband lovingly noted that it looked like eggs over easy. Yep. The super un-appetizing kind!
The last step was to turn the eggs into flowers. Hopefully.
Since the soap was still very fluid, the white soap that I dropped on top spread more than I anticipated, especially after I added the yellow, so I didn’t have a lot of room to play. My “backdrop” ended up mostly covered, and the flowers… well, they’re not the prettiest flowers I’ve ever seen. Haha!
It smells wonderful, and I’m sure it’s going to be lovely to use, but I’m a bit disappointed. It’s not what I was envisioning, but it’s not the worst I’ve ever made either!
I’m ready to have another go at creating more flowers in soap. If I’d given myself more time, I probably would have made another soap to submit for my challenge entry. BUT, such is life with a nursing baby and five littles running around on summer vacation! I’m happy to be participating at all!!! 😀
The great thing about the Ebru technique is that the design possibilities are absolutely endless. In fact, many of the other designs that I’ve used in soap probably originated with this ink marbling technique. It’s going to be fun to see all of the other members’ soaps this month! Thanks for another fun soap lesson, Amy!