Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wisconsin Cow Soap

Hello my fellow Soapers!  For this month's soap challenge Amy Warden of Great Cake Soapworks and the Soap Challenge Club tasked with creating a location themed soap that features something unique about where we come from.  I created this cute farm soap.

Wisconsin Cow Soap
I am from Wisconsin and we are known for cows, cheese, beer, and snow.  I decided to create a soap that was a landscape of a farm with a cute little cow in the forefront of the soap.  Cows are SO cute!!  Here is the sketch that my husband and I worked up (he’s an engineer and likes to measure everything).  In the forefront there is a cute little cow roaming the field.  In the background there is a barn and a silo with a wheat field and a partly cloudy sky.  There are a ton of farms in Wisconsin and dairy farming is a huge part of our livelihood.  I decided to use Fresh Cut Grass fragrance from Wholesale Supplies Plus for that fresh field smell.  The soap stayed fluid for a long time and the scent stuck really well.  

Once the sketch was made we had a plan!  This soap took several days to make because of the embeds and layers.  My husband, Mark made the molds for the barn and silo out of foam board (he is awesome).  I dusted a small amount of black mica on the top of the barn for a small roof accent. 

The same day I also made the cute cow soap slab.  I wanted there to be variability in the spots on the cows so I used squirt bottles to create the spots.  I colored my soap batter 50/50 white/black and started squirting away.  At first I was creating larger blobs of black and white but halfway through I switched to making small dots on the top of the soap for a more spotted look.  You can see the difference between the top and bottom of the soap below.

Top of soap slab for cows
Bottom of soap slab for cows

24 hours later I cut the cute cows out of the slab.  I used a small cow cookie cutter that I purchased from Amazon.  It worked out really well.  Here is a little photo shoot that I had with the cows J

On the catwalk!
Once all of the cows were cut out I “glued” them together by putting a little water between 2 cows and rubbing them together.  I used a clamp to hold the cows in place overnight so they would stick together better.
Cows all clamped up
I decided to pour the landscape portion of the soap in 2 parts.  The bottom half I poured upside down for 3 reasons.  1. I did not want any air bubbles to get trapped under the belly of the cow.  2. I knew the embeds were going to sink because I was going to pour the grass at a thin trace and the embeds were heavy.  3. I wanted to create a gradient of darkening green for the grass. I also put a tiny bit of yellow on the bottom of the soap for a dandelion.  Those things are everywhere.  

Bottom half freshly poured
After this set up I removed the soap, planed the bottom and flipped it around.  The top of the soap was divided into several portions: green for a thin layer between the bottom layer to the barn and silo, yellow and gold for the wheat, blue for the sky, and white for the clouds. 

For the wheat I put the yellow and gold in piping bags and drizzled lines of soap the length of the mold. 

Barn, silo placed and wheat field poured
Next I worked on the sky.  I wanted this to have a little gradient going from a lighter blue to a darker blue with clouds mixed throughout.  I used a piping bag to make lines of clouds throughout. 

Top of the soap
After the soap was cut I beveled the edges and made a little gold square stamp using gold mica to represent a hay loft and used a little bit of black mica to create the barn door.  This soap was a lot of fun to make and I am happy that I was able to create a soap to represent where I come from.  Cows are so awesome!  Thank you so much Amy for a fun challenge!  

Single Soap

Gathering of the cows

Front and back

Farm soaps!