Saturday, April 15, 2006


Good Clean Fun... With Knives!

The existence of this book on eBay would seem to indicate that we once had a national passion for carving soap:

Sure enough, a weirdly fascinating page by Linda Godfrey tells the story of soap carving:

Take a room full of nine and ten year olds, hand each of them a bar of Ivory soap and a SHARP KNIFE, and tell them to come up with a miniature replica of Michaelangelo's "David." That's pretty much what happened in art classrooms across the nation in the late 50's and early 60's, when carving soap was in its heyday. How many children sacrificed fingers on the altar of Soap Sculpture will never be known, but it's a safe bet the company making Band-aids raked in as many bucks as the soap manufacturers.

I particularly love the sublime non-sequitir of a soap sculpture of the atomic structure of coal:

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