Saturday, 26 May 2012

Serra da Estrela Landscape Soap

 This is Week 10, and the penultimate week of the current Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge organised by Amy Warden.
I personally think this has been the most challenging one yet!

I thought I'd have a go from Portugal, as again Ishbel has more experience of making Landscape Bars in the past, and I wanted to have a go at a Portugal inspired Landscape bar.

 So, all these photos are the inspiration behind my soap bar. First of all I wanted to create the rock of the Serra da Estrela- which is our local mountain range, a National park, and is the highest range in Portugal. I did this by piping a lumpy rock through the middle of the soap loaf.
Then I wanted to give a layer of the pine forests- so I added a green with some dried crushed parsley to give texture. Followed by the lush green pastures- so this was a very slightly lighter plain green.
Then I sat in the Portuguese sun- (i mean I sat a bright yellow tube of soap sun into the bar- I didn't have time for sunbathing at this point!)
These bottom layers were fragranced with all the smells of The Serra da Estrela- Pine, Eucalyptus, some cedar and the wild herbs of Bay and Rosemary.

 Above the sun I wanted to create the wild amazing skies that we often get here- I swirled Orange, Pale yellow, white and a deep grey-blue red and scented it with the fruity floral scents of Portugal- Orange blossom and Citrus.
So..... here's the final soap.
It has the boulders, the green forest, the sun and the colourful sky.
I'm really happy with the result - it was a tricky soap to make, but I think it needs refining. It reminds me of a childs painting- and although clever (it is soap after all!) I would like to make it more sophisticated. (It also reminds me a bit of something from the Expressionism art period!) Perhaps I need to simplify it- take one element- the mountains for instance in more subtle colours- I'm not sure!! Let me know what you think!!
However I do know its going to be a fabulous soap to use- it smells wonderful and has the usual lovely local Portuguese ingredients- my neighbours Goats milk and our local Olive oil.                                        

This is the double bar before I cut it in half.

This is the final bar.

Again. another brilliant challenge- and again I can't wait to have another go and refine another new skill I've learnt!


  1. This really does look like a painting! I love your sky and that you used herbs for the trees. Gorgeous! Keep working on it.

  2. What a stunning rendition of all that you hold dear, imagined and created. The colors and textures are so perfect. Another inspiration of creative ingenuity. Brava Shelley!

  3. I think you really captured everything you were going for-very nice!

  4. Love your colours. Your soap looks great!

  5. Well thought out, Shelley! So many lovely textures & colors! Very creative! :)

  6. Beautiful landscape, a real work of art, and I can see you will be refining this for a brilliant new soap, very lovely, x Linda

  7. That is absolutely stunning, you definitely achieved what you were going for!

  8. Stunning looking soap. I love the color blend! Well done!! :)