I've been thinking about my landscape soap for a long time, then suddenly on Friday night around 9:00 pm, I was compelled to bring the image to life--a beachscape--more exactly, the coast of the Florida Panhandle, one of my most favorite places, the Redneck Riveria--St. George Island. Us weary northern folk have hailed there numerous times for respite and family connection. Somehow, my entire family of origin, except for myself, abandoned middle child, has ended up in Northern Florida, and while I remain the lone middle child abandoned in northern climes, I don't mind at all frequent visits to the coast. My soap is a tribute to these beloved visits.
There are so many things that can go wrong with a landscape soap, so I'm very proud how my first landscape design turned out. Upside down, I made the sky first, using a pointillism technique with light and dark aqua mica and natural soap mix, followed by a cobalt blue ocean. I embedded carrot soap balls at various cut points in the log, as my sun, then finished with light and dark bronze mica dunes. I used my three pound max wooden loaf mold, usually used for two pound batches.
This was a stressful soap. With so many colors and the various layers needing to be at a certain consistency, I was a mess. My daughter, normally a good assistant, wasn't in the mood at 9:30 on a Friday evening for a stressful batch of soap. I totally forgot to do the mica line between sky and ocean layers. I have no idea how soapers are able to videotape their soap travails; it's all I can do to make the soap and not wreck the kitchen too much. Maybe, in time, I'll get it together enough. God, I love soap. I wish I could take a bath all day long,