Thursday, January 24, 2013

Week #17 - Sculpting -studying Michelangelo further

So today we took on the adventure of learning how to make a sculpture.  We made a simple sculpture of a fish out of a bar of Ivory soap.  I wanted my daughter to understand the skill and time involved in making great sculptures like Michelangelo.  She commented that she didn't realize how hard it was and how long it takes!  She suddenly realized why it takes years for some large sculptures to be completed.

You take a new Ivory soap bar, butter knife and pencil.  Draw a simple design, fish, heart, cross, boat or other simple design with the pencil onto the bar of soap pressing down so it makes an indention of what you want to carve.  This becomes the reference point for them to carve down to.

Then they just whittle away at the soap gently and smoothly while the carve down to the indention for the image you're creating.

At the end they can add details (like fins and tail and eye) they also can gently scrape off the word Ivory if they haven't yet.  

Sarah was very proud of her end product!  She had a new appreciation for what it takes to sculpt something.  So funny how looking at pictures and talking about how detailed and difficult it is and then doing something can really give it legs!  :)


  1. I have plans for my class to do this in 2 weeks. How long did it take?

  2. Hi Stacey - If this is a Tutor class during fine arts - then yes if the design is simple it could be done (like the fish). It shouldn't take but 20-30 minutes for a fish or heart or other simple design. Have fun! I hope it comes out great! Blessings - Colleen

  3. We carved soap once and also tried zucchini. It's more of a challenge than it sounds. Your daughter did a great job.