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Carving workshop turns soap into art

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Posted at 10:24 PM, Sep 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-09 01:58:35-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Hand carved soap may not be the first thing to spring to mind when most people think about art, but the hygiene product can also be an art form.

The City Creek West Elm store hosted a workshop last week for people who want to learn how to carve soap into flowers.

Artist Subin Doenges said there is a learning curve when it comes to carving soap.

"I'm doing the basics,” Doenges said. “You know, like a basic flower like orchid or lotus, and see what they can do. It takes a lot of work at the beginning. The first time for me was three hours for one soap, but now I can do 20 minutes for one soap or a half hour."

Carving soap is a Thai tradition, and once the soap is carved into a flower it is painted in bright, bold colors.

"Thai people do it a lot,” Doenges said. “They carve wood, they carve soap, they carve fruit."

The workshop was part of Craft Lake City, which promotes local artists. Doenges said she is happy to be involved in the event.

"I love it,” she said. “I love to show my heart and my country off, and people enjoy it.”

Doenges said she has been carving soap for about 2.5 years, and she said she loves to show off her work at local festivals.

"Last year we did a few fairs,” she said. “Avenue street fair, 9th and 9th street fair.. the gardens. This year is the first time for me at Craft Lake City. [It’s] really nice, and I love it. A lot of people say they love my art."

The West Elm and Craft Lake City workshops take place once a month. Doenges also teaches cooking classes. Click here for more information.