Soap Art - A 4 dimensional canvas



I am interested in art, love to see it, feel it, wear it and use it, yet my only proper art training was 10 (rather intensive but relaxing) watercolour lessons given by a young and talented contemporary artist, what I learnt encouraged me to create my own art pieces when time allows. The choice of art media is unlimited, it can be as liberal as a porcelain urinal (check out Marcel Duchamp 1917). Well, back to some ordinary choices, it can be acrylic paint, oil paint, watercolour paint, ink (I'm having tattoo art in my mind right now), fabric and it can as well be soap.

When soap becomes an art medium, it involves a chemical reaction rather than just a change of physical state (saponification can occur in oil painting though!), simply put, triglycerides from oils and fat react with sodium hydroxide to produce glycerin and fatty acid salt - that's soap! The ratio of hard and soft oils in your recipe determines greatly the fluidity of your 'paint, and the addition of essential/fragrance oils add another layer of complexity as they affect the colour of the soap mixture as well as the rate of reaction which determines the time you have to finish your masterpiece.

All these parameters make soap art so much more interesting, and what's more is that soap itself is a 4-dimensional canvas. Instead of a flat piece of paper or fabric, there is depth, while the 4th dimension, which is time, is executed only when the soap is being used, the swirls and layers within the soap change continuously and is only revealed to the user.

A secret view that is not to be seen by the soap crafter.

A personal luxury. 


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