I knew I was barely going to make this entry in time but I really had to try. I’m super impressed with this technique and quite surprised at the results. This is probably not going to be the prettiest soap in the competition, there are some seriously talented soap geniuses out there, I am just so pleased with the results given the circumstances and that this was only my first try!
Filling the Impression Mat
Some three weeks ago I made a batch of soap and used the color for that soap that I knew I wanted to use for my impression mat. Saving back a bit of my green soap scented with Bayberry and looking all festive, I waited for it to become super thick. Then I smeared a little bit of soap (couldn’t have been more than a teaspoon at most) onto my mat with a rubber spatula, filling in all the grooves. I covered it in plastic wrap and set it on the counter. That mat sat there waiting and waiting and waiting for me to find time to get back to it. Finally, on the 15th, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to make this soap if I had any hope of getting it into the contest this month.
Making the loaf
My loaf mold was a little big for the tiny mat I’d purchased but I figured I could remove excess soap and probably be OK. What I hadn’t counted on was that my impression mat was no longer flat. It was bowed inward really bad. I tried laying a heavy box on it to flatten it back out but that did not work. You can see here that it is most definitely curling. Oh well, I’d give it a try anyway. I made a new batch of soap using an Alpine fragrance and poured it onto my mat. Of course the soap scooted right under the mat. I only filled the mold about halfway because I’d like to cut pretty wide bars of soap to show off the impression in bigger sections.
On the morning of the 16th, yes the day the entries opened up, I un-molded the soap. Of course the mat was nearly invisible because soap had gotten underneath. I carefully trimmed soap off the back of the impression mat and one side until I could get a hold of the impression mat and attempt to pull it off.
Impressively, the mat came right off leaving behind a perfect impression with wonderful tiny details, the snowflakes are incredible. Where the mat had bowed, the soap bowed with it. The top of my soap in ever so slightly rounded and looks so cool!
Of course, now I’m going to need to lay my hands on some more impression mats!!! How fun!!! Thank you for these challenges, they help me to grow in many ways 😀