Carving Soap Sculptures | Free Family Funday | July 2022

Welcome back to another Free Family Funday with the Mennello Museum of American Art

Today we’re going to be carving our very own sculptures inspired by the work of Florida Outsider Artists George Voronovsky, OL Samuels, and Jesse Aaron. Each artist used non-traditional materials to form their sculptures - things like Styrofoam coolers, tree branches, and fallen logs in Florida’s forests. Samuels and Aaron both looked to the wood itself as the source of their inspiration, carving the spirit of the wood into a recognizable form.

We’re starting small and safe using bars of soap to learn how to use dowels and clay or wood carving tools.

Today, I chose to make a fish but previously I had worked on an elephant -we have some great outline ideas for you in our instruction sheet over on

1. Choose the subject of your sculpture, or what you are going to make. You will want to be able to draw the outline of the subject -maybe an animal or flower - onto the flat surface of the bar of soap. Try to to draw your designs as close to the edges of the soap as possible - that way there will be less soap you will need to subtract from your carving.

2. Now, you’re ready to start using the tools, test each out to see how they work for you, there are a lot of different options that can help you carve down the material.
Like many of the artists exhibited now, you don’t have to use the tools exactly as intended. You can achieve some pretty innovative art when you challenge yourself to think outside of the traditional box. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

3. As you begin to see your subject form, polish it up by working to smooth out any rough edges. Carving does require patience with yourself and the material, it might take a while to really see your sculpture emerge. But once it is there, then you can add any facial characteristics or extra details you want to enhance your sculpture.

Hope everyone has fun with this project, and we’ll see you July 10 from 12-230 for Free Family Funday at the Mennello. Don’t forget to share your projects with us using #mennellomuseum!





  • Sunday, July 10, 2022 | 12:00 PM - 04:30 PM
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