My Ebru Soap Challenge Journey

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These are the four soaps I made for this months Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge. Looking at the photos, I find it really difficult to choose a favorite. It’s almost like choosing a favorite child (impossible) 🙂

Anyway, to get started, I watched Amy Warden’s tutorial. The challenge was to make a Turkish Ebru Marbling inspired soap. Then I spent literally hours looking at images of ebru art. It is amazing what can be done with paint and water. Soap, even very slow moving recipes, is still more viscous than water, which inhibits the free movement and spreading out of the colors. That is a very important design consideration for soap.

  • Lav/Pep/Pat

I decided to start out with what is probably my all time favorite essential oil combination: lavender/peppermint/patchouli. I used my favorite slow moving cold process soap recipe, and this photo as the inspiration:

To see this amazing Ebru artist's work, please visit: http://molempire.com/2011/08/01/painting-on-water-the-art-of-ebru/
To see this amazing Ebru artist’s work, please visit: http://molempire.com/2011/08/01/painting-on-water-the-art-of-ebru/

I decided to use blues and greens, with black and white for accents. Yes, that is pretty much my go-to color palette. 🙂 Here are some photos of how it turned out:

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And here is the video showing me making it:

  • Fusion Ebru

Next, I wanted to try a different technique. I saw this amazing waterfall design online:

Visit this page at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/113153009364516718/
Visit this page at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/113153009364516718/

I thought that I might be able to get soap to look something like this. Again, I used my favorite recipe, and this time a beautiful summery color palette of oranges and pinks. I used a bright, citrusy scent that is very well behaved, and I also added some red jojoba beads to spice things up. Here is how that one turned out:

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And here is the video of me making it:

  • Mint and Cedar

I still wasn’t satisfied. Yes, those soaps had turned out beautifully, but I wanted to push myself even more and try to make something . . . I don’t know . . . more turkish-y?? Anyway, with that in mind, I found a couple more inspiration photos:

To view this image on its original page, please visit: http://www.arkofcrafts.com/en/tulip-marbling-art-on-paper
To view this image on its original page, please visit: http://www.arkofcrafts.com/en/tulip-marbling-art-on-paper
To view more of this artist's work, please visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioRobertWu?ref=s2-header-shopname
To view more of this artist’s work, please visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioRobertWu?ref=s2-header-shopname

I see a lot of tan/beige swirly backgrounds like the tulip image above in ebru art. I wanted to combine that look with the feel of the second image. I love the dreamy, wavelike feel of that one. I also like its simplicity. So, for this batch, I used Amy’s recommended slow-moving recipe, and a blend of lavender, cedar, and spearmint essential oils. Here’s how it turned out:

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And here’s the video of me making it:

While I do like how this one turned out, I don’t think I captured the simplicity I was going for. I think the problem is that I made too much of each color, and was reluctant to waste it, so I just went ahead and piled it all on.

  • Minty Fresh

Determined to get it right, I decided to try one more batch, this time using much less of the accent colors. So, I decided to use my favorite recipe again, and this time I did another EO combo, this time mostly spearmint, with a hint of cedar and lavender. (I must be on a mint kick.)

Here’s how this one turned out:

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And here’s the video of me making the soap:

So . . . how to choose. I love the last one. It looks very “ebru-ish” to me. But, I’m torn, because I also LOVE the blues/greens/black of the very first one. And then that bright orange and pink one just makes me happy. ARGH. I can’t decide. My husband and my mom both like the first one the best. My kids like various different ones the best. Hmmmmm. I guess I will decide when I join the link up. 🙂

One last pic, because I had to show off my new soaping goggles. :)
One last pic, because I had to show off my new soaping goggles. 🙂
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19 thoughts on “My Ebru Soap Challenge Journey

    1. Thank you, Maya! I think the orange/pink soap is my favorite one. Those colors just make me happy. I just didn’t get a really good pic of it in the mold, so I went with the other one for the challenge.

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  1. I can definitely see your dilemma. LOL! They are all so beautiful! Just can’t beat a gorgeous Ebru soap fresh in the mold though. Excellent choice. 🙂 I’d love to see the other five soaps in your head too!

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  2. I can see what you mean by saying it’s hard to stop, Teressa! :)) I also made several soaps in this technique and still have so many ideas… Each of your soap is beautiful and their pictures are just amazing! I like them all but I think the Minty Fresh is my favorite!

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    1. Thank you Jelena! I think that one is the most true to my vision of the Ebru art form.
      I just have to remember that although it sometimes feels like it, soaping is not my life. I will have to repeat that to myself over and over as I try to catch up on cleaning, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping–basically everything that I have let slide to carve out time for soaping. 🙂

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