LASM Educator Ms. Marion was inspired to carve her own sculpture when she viewed the sculpture of Frank Hayden, which she saw at LASM! Hayden (1934-1988) is one of Louisiana's most influential sculptors. You may have seen Hayden's artwork on view in LASM's Bert S. Turner Family Atrium or in the current art exhibition Frank Hayden: Lift Every Voice. Since Ms. Marion didn't have access to mahogany, bronze, or fiberglass, which were Hayden's materials of choice, she chose to carve soap instead!

Frank Hayden, A Sequence of Life, 1974. Carved Honduran mahogany.

Loaned by Hancock Bank, L5.2002.

You will need:

  • Bar of soap

  • Pencil

  • Paper

  • Scissors

  • Plastic butter knife

  • Paper clip

  • Paintbrush

Instructions:

  1. First, choose a flat surface with good lighting for your work space. Cover part of your work space with paper, and place a bar of soap onto the paper and trace its outline.

  2. Draw your chosen sculpture design inside of the paper outline, then use scissors to cut out your design. 

  3. Create a stencil by placing your paper design on the bar of soap. Lightly carve the design into the soap using a pencil as a tool. 

  4. Using a plastic knife, remove the large pieces of soap. Then, use a paper clip to shave off smaller pieces of soap. 

  5. After shaping your sculpture, use a pencil to carve out the smaller details. 

  6. Use a paintbrush to brush away the soap dust.

When you complete your sculpture, take a picture and share it with family and friends! Finally, use your leftover soap scraps to wash your hands.

Adapted from an activity by MetKids.

Step-by-Step Photos
Another Soap Sculpture Example

Feel free to use your creativity to design any sculptures you like. Ms. Marion decided to make some science-themed sculptures: an Erlenmeyer Flask and a beaker!

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