Sculpture

Soap Carving

Create a simple sculpture from a bar of soap!

The idea

Photograph of hands carving soap

Barbara Hepworth was a key figure in the British abstract art movement in the 20th century. She often created sculptures which were inspired by nature. She lived near the seaside in St Ives, Cornwall and often used the shapes of shells and rocks to inspire her work.

She loved to work with wood and stone and, later on, in bronze. Her sculptures seem to be growing and look very natural.

Take a look at her sculptures! Can you see all the different shapes and forms Hepworth uses? Which one would you like to make?

Dame Barbara Hepworth, ‘Oval Sculpture (No. 2)’ 1943, cast 1958
Dame Barbara Hepworth
Oval Sculpture (No. 2) 1943, cast 1958
Tate
© Bowness
Dame Barbara Hepworth, ‘Tides I’ 1946
Dame Barbara Hepworth
Tides I 1946
Tate
© Bowness
Dame Barbara Hepworth, ‘Mother and Child’ 1934
Dame Barbara Hepworth
Mother and Child 1934
Tate
© Bowness
Dame Barbara Hepworth, ‘Three Forms’ 1935
Dame Barbara Hepworth
Three Forms 1935
Tate
© Bowness

Let's make a soap carving

Materials required for soap carving activity

You will need:

  • Some cheap bars of white soap
  • A pencil
  • Scrapers and peelers – use teaspoons, potato peelers, scissors, a paperclip and similar objects

Ready? Let's start ...

photograph of soap carving

1. DraW your design ON both sides of THE SOAP

Photograph of soap carving activity

2. Use a knife to cut the corners off. Ask an adult for help

Photograph of soap carving activity

3. Carefully Scrape away at the edges and twist into the surface to make holes

photograph of soap carving

4. Use a potato peeler to make smooth edges. turning your soap over to do both sides

photograph of soap carving

5. Use a paperclip to make small details and marks

Photograph of soap carving

6. All done! Looks great

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