Inspired by Nature
Monstera Deliciosa soap, molded from a hand carved clay sculpture.
When I started Naiad Soap Arts in 2007 I used soap as a new medium to express my creativity, designing complicated compositions in soap and experimenting with new techniques. Over the years the product line and vision has evolved and most of the creativity goes into formulating or packaging, but I’ve been wanting to reincorporate that creativity and design into my process! This is the first in a series of soaps inspired by my love of nature - Monstera Deliciosa Soap
I’ve always loved gardening and tinkering with the care and propagation of plants, but like all hobbies I get obsessed with, I’m beginning to have more than I can manage! The bulk of my free time currently is growing and propagating plants, trying to procure new plants, researching how to keep them pest free and happy, and when that isn’t satisfying enough I’ll paint or photograph “plant portraits”. I blame instagram for showing me all that I can have, and human nature for greedily wanting more. On watering inspection day it takes between 2-4 hours to water, prune, de-bug, and dote on my over 50 house plants, and probably 20 more succulent arrangements that I have outside, plus the herb and vegetable garden (which is pretty lacking this year due to afore mentioned house plants).
The darling of house plants, the Monstera Deliciosa, had eluded me every time I looked for one at my local home improvement and garden stores, and the price to buy a clipping online as always beyond my comfort zone. To satiate my longing, I created the Monstera Delicious Soap! There’s something intoxicating about the strategically tattered, green glossy leaves which nature has so carefully crafted to allow air to pass through without damaging the leaves, and the fenestrations (natures windows) to allow light to pass through and nourish leaves below. It’s pretty amazing engineering in my opinion - good job nature!
First I drew the stencil and tried carving it in a block of soap - that didn’t work so well! The second version which I used to create the mold is made from bakeable clay that I carved and sanded smooth. There were many rounds of sanding and molding, testing, then more sanding, molding and testing. Here is a quick overview of the molding process:
To learn how to make your own custom molds you can purchase my handout through the Nova Studio!
It was hard to get that deep vibrant green color without over saturating the soap so I compromised and did a plain white version and a “variegated” version - green gold and white are one of my favorite color palettes! White is just clean, simple and shows off the shape really well.