Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Parsons Soap Blocks

This weekend while my husband was out of town, I was able to hit the kitchen once the kids went to bed and make some new soaps. This idea has been knocking around in my head for so long, but I wasn't sure how to execute it until just last week.

These soap blocks are inspired by Parsons tables. I read that this style is actually from the 1930's. A professor at Parsons challenged his students to come up with a piece of furniture that would look equally beautiful in wood, gold, mica, plain, or embellished.

Making these soaps took a bit of head scratching, since I couldn't build it like the tables are. Instead, I created the clear centers and cut away the "legs", then created a 3 layer soap (white, clear, white), and let the liquid white soap fill the cut out columns. Once I unmolded the soaps, I had to do a little plaining (planing?) to clean up the sides, but it was quick.

I'm thinking about making a little video about how I did this. Leave me a comment and let me know if you'd like to see that. Thanks!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Finding Inspiration

One thing I learned in college was not to look at other fashion designers for inspiration. This is a problem for a few reasons:
  • You are not thinking creatively enough
  • You are looking at what was designed a year ago
  • You will inevitably copy what you're looking at, intentionally or not.

So when it comes to new soap designs, I definitely keep up on trends by looking at other soap makers, but I like finding new ideas in other places.

My all time favorite source of inspiration for The Soap Lab is looking at modern furniture and interior design, and since I'm a mom of 2 little kids I thank god for catalogs or else I would never know what's going on!

Interior design is a great source of ideas since it focuses on textures, color, shapes, and light. These are all elements that are perfect to interpret with glycerin. I have chosen some pictures that translate into some beautiful soaps (from www.westelm.com).

Tomorrow I will show you how I turned a classic Parsons Table into a new soap. See you then!

Typography Soap Bar

A few months ago I finally got enough guts to use my pourable silicone for this design. It was the last of my silicone so I was really hesitant just in case it didn't work out. But luckily I was really happy with the results.

The Typography Soap has raised letters that wrap around all sides (the beauty of silicone!), and is scented with Crushed Peppermint. I know I mentioned that I won't be selling new designs, but in this case an online shop will be carrying this one. I'll let you know which one as soon as it's available. I hope you'll head over and pick one up for yourself or a friend! :)

UPDATE! This soap is now available in my Soap Lab shop. Head on over and check out some other soapy goodies I added, too!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Modern Design in Glycerin

Tonight my husband is camping in the desert, learning about native herbal medicine, and I'm getting caught up on The Soap Lab. It's been a while since I've posted here or listed any new designs. I've just been up to my ears in Soapylove and Let's Get Soapy endeavors, which have been great. But I do miss my Lab!

Part of getting caught up is checking into my favorite modern design blogs. One of them is Oh Joy! Modern Design. This is a very popular blog that you may already be reading, but I love its sweet and short posts which always come with some gorgeous photos. One that really got my attention was about Jean Pelle's Soap Stones (above).

These beautiful soaps are individually cut and shaped, and are designed to be displayed, which is the opposite of what you usually hear from soap makers ("Please use my soaps - don't just look at them!"). They come boxed and ready to give to a special someone. These are the only soaps Jean Pelle offers. Make sure to check out her other creations here.