Soap Carving and Plaster Sculpture

For this piece, we were required to carve a global issue as an object. As a representation of the destruction causes mentally and physically to the victims of the of the recent hurricanes in the US and Caribbean, I sculpted pieces of a broken house and the tools required to mend it. Throughout the last month, four hurricanes have affected the southern coastal United States and Caribbean Islands causing dozens of deaths, thousands of people’s homes and cars destruction, and extreme lack of supplies and power. The tools represent the supplies, attention, and love the victims are relying on from the rest of the world in order to allow them to heal from the tragedy they have experienced. In my own way, I have been attempting to send love and prayers to my family in Texas living in Huston, one of the cities affected by Hurricane Harvey. My cousins were forced to evacuate their house only to return to severe flooding, broken windows and walls, and minimal hope. This project has allowed me to understand more in depth how important it is to care for and support our fellow Americans and humans in times when they are most vulnerable and desperate. A month later many in Florida, Texas, and many Caribbean Islands are struggling to figure out their next step as they slowly regain power and resources. It is our responsibility as citizens of the world to offer our support, donations, and love in a time when so many people are in pain.

Although my finished product is not what I envisioned when I began this project, I am proud of the work I accomplished. I was specifically impressed with how much attention I paid to the smallest details in some of my carvings, which for someone who is typically impatient and in a rush to get things over with was surprising. If I was to do this project again I would re-think my idea to create multiple soap carvings to tell one story. If I had chosen a more complex carving that made my global issue clear it would have given me a lot less stress about time restrictions. I would also be more careful towards the end of the project to be sensitive and patient with the carvings because I easily forgot how delicate the soap was. Overall, I really enjoyed this project and how it forced me to focus on the details of every object I carved.

Soap Carving Artist Statement

My goal was to create a project that emphasizes the need for humans to reduce our carbon footprint. I believe we need to be aware because it is hurting our environment and creating polluted air. To represent this I created two trees: a healthy tree, and a tree that has smoke rather than leaves. These trees also bring awareness to reducing the amount of paper we waste. Since trees are an important part of human survival and the environment, we must be aware of the pollution we are emitting into the air and the amount of paper we use. We can achieve this by doing little things such as reducing the amount of paper we print, or recycle the paper we do use. Every little thing we do to try and help the environment can create a big difference.

For this project I used about three bars of soap. I carved each tree trunk using tools to carve roots and texturize the trunks. Then I used another bar of soap to carve oval shapes, which I made to look like smoke puffs and bunches of leaves. One of the hardest parts of this project was connecting the smoke to the trunk and attaching several bunches of leaves together with wire.

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My favorite part of the project was molding my hands and then peeling off the alginate.

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In the end, the trees came together and their position on my hands represents the message I wanted to send. I have read and heard about the affects of hurting our environment, and I think this is an important message to convey.

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