Seal Soap Sculpture


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I first became interested in temperature dependent predation success (TPS) when my sister and I had a conversation about the impacts of rising water temperatures on arctic food webs. Changing arctic water temperatures affect the swimming speed of some organisms. When water temperature rises, some organisms’ swimming speeds increase and other organisms swimming speeds decrease. This has serious food web consequences on predator and prey relationships. The speed of sharks increases while the speed of pinnipeds (i.e. seals and sea lions) decreases, which makes it significantly easier for sharks to prey on pinnipeds. The rising water temperature also impacts pinnipeds because it is harder for them to capture prey, like fish, to survive, which can lead to ecosystem collapse.

When I began my project, I decided to try carving the seal out of two bars of soap taped together on the ends so the final product would be taller and thicker. This turned out to be an obstacle because as I tried to mimic the shape of a seal, the top bar of soap thinned out very quickly and eventually broke off. This was well into the project, so I turned the bottom bar of soap on it’s side and transformed it into the best seal I could have in it’s current condition. Another difficult part of my project was copying the thickness of a seal. The piece of soap I had left was quite lopsided and both sides were lean, so I carved the seal rounder to aid the appearance of it being larger. 

For future projects, I need to plan in depth before beginning the process and I should always have a next step before rushing into things and attempting something that may not work out to the best of my ability. Ultimately, I was proud of what I had accomplished and how I executed representing pinnipeds and the consequences they experience in rising water temperatures.



4 thoughts on “Seal Soap Sculpture

  1. The seal is super well done; it’s so cute! I think you could talk more about seals specifically when you’re talking about the pinnipeds, or why you chose to do a seal instead of a sea lion. Maybe when you’re discussing what you would do differently you could talk about what you could do to prevent doing something that may not work. Your photo slide show is really good; you took a lot of photos during the process which is something I wish I did a better job of. I couldn’t even tell from the picture that there was any difficulty with the seal given that your top piece broke off.


  2. I like that you used a seal to represent the ecosystem collapsing. I think that if you had more time you could add details on the body of the seal and flippers. Also planning before you start sculpting will make the whole process more efficient. The face of your seal is really cute!


  3. I liked how in your description you reflected on what you did well and what you could do better for future projects. One suggestion would be to make the pictures bigger so you can see the details of the seal and you hard more clearly. Your inspiration for making the sculpture is really cool and I like the facts you included!


  4. The project looks amazing, I like the way your hand is positioned for the seal. It makes it visually appealing. The one concern I have is the shape of the seal. It looks like the big part of the body thins out at the end too quickly. Also the sculpture might need some editing, it looks a bit pink. I like your reasoning behind the project, it is powerful!


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