Oct 21, 2009

"Facial Soap" Doodle Carving

"Facial Soap" doodle carving.

The first time I did a "Facial Soap" doodle carving was way back in 1989. At the time I had taken a sabbatical from my career and was traveling across the country putting on drug prevention shows for Jr. High and High School students nationwide.

As I traveled I collected the soap you get at hotels and started creating doodle carvings with them. Nothing too complex just a bunch of goofy faces hence the term "Facial Soap." I never did manage to save any of them, I usually gave them all away to people I met and once I plugged back into my career in 1990 I kind of set the creative habit aside.

My preferred canvas: Ivory soap.

Over the past several years I've been traveling around the country speaking and I've started to collect free soap again which made me think of my previous creative habit. So I decided to do a doodle carving tonight.

I don't use the soap they give away at hotels because frankly it's too cheap and fractures too easily. I prefer Ivory soap myself and a 3-pak of these carvible canvases was a grand total of $1.07.

Carving begins.

These go pretty fast. I spent about an hour while watching a movie creating one of these. An X-acto is the only tool I need to carve with and I keep a can of air around to blow out small pieces as I work.

Carving box.

Needless to say this can make a mess pretty quick so the best method I've found to minimize the shaved pieces of soap from scattering across your floor is to carve over a small box. One nice side effect is the scent given off by the soap, and one negative side effect is the soap dust you get on your hands and then rub it into your eyes by mistake. #$%@! burns.

Soap + X-acto = Facial Soap.

I'm going to try and make this a regular creative habit from now on. It's relaxing and fun.

Creating this facial soap made me realize my carving skills are kind of rusty. What I've done before was a lot more complicated so hopefully over time I'll improve.


Jan said...

I have NEVER heard of carving in soap before! Unreal! What really hit me is that your 'style' shines through! Very nice!

Daniel Purvis said...

That's fuckin' rad. Actually, I've been meaning to pick up some plastecine recently and get back into my modelling work. think you've just given me a kick in the ass!

Howard Wright said...

I've got great memories of doing this in grade school but it would be a great thing for rain days with my kids now. Nothing I did approached the creativity of yours but what a cheap form of sculpture and carving!

Alice said...

whoa that's cool!

Japh said...

That is brilliant, Von. I love this sort of thing. Can't wait to see more too :)

Any chance you'd do a video so we can all watch you at work? ;)

Drew Gilbert said...

I've heard it said before, but I will steal the saying: The only thing I hate about this is that I didn't think of it first. Now I have to try this, dammit! Great creative device Von!

patricia zapata said...

Awesome! I'll have to show my son. He carved soap not too long ago with his boy scouts troop.

Tom Davis said...

Hey man - great stuff! How well do your facial soaps keep over time? Do they melt or sweat or do they pretty much stay well-preserved if you just leave them alone?