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Beautiful Siam (Thai) Soap Flower Carvings: See How They Carve Them in Thailand!

Updated on June 09, 2015

The Ancient Siam Soap Carving Process

These Beautiful flowers come from Thailand. They are hand carved, from fragrant every-day soap bars, by a special set of skills that has been passed through generations of Thais. The final carved flower is actually very plain, so once they have finished carving the flower, they then paint them using the special batik process. Once colored and set, the flowers are then presented by setting them in a decorative wooden box. These boxes are normal either painted, engraved with an elephant or have a silver engraving top.

The benefit of creating these artworks from aromatic soap is that the sweet smell stays with the soap flowers for a long long time. This makes them a great fragrant decoration, gift, or wedding favor.

Impressively each Soap Carving process takes about 30 minutes from start to finish (excluding painting). The artist cuts away at the soap until an ordinary bar changes into a beautiful flower.

Watch how Delicately and Skillfully the Soap is Carved into a Flower ... it really is Amazing to See!

The Soap Carving Process

The artist starts from the center of the bar of soap and works outwards. He/She uses a small scoop shaped tool which cuts out the petal shaped and lifts them into place. however, thy need space, and so every now and again the artist will cut out an area of soap from around the petals, before repeating the process. This process is repeated until the artist is about one third of the way out of the bar of soap (with petals).

at this stage, the real skill comes in, as the artist uses a very sharp blade to hand carve each individual petal and delicately raise it into place. This process takes more time, but produces an amazing effect and some beautifully shaped petals/leaves. This stage is repeated numerous times, but, due to the cutting style, the artist must cut away more excess soap to allow a smooth surface to cut the next level of the flow from. However, at this point, you can already see the flower growing into something quite incredible.

Once carved, the flower needs to be painted. The artists hand paint these soap flowers using a special Batik process. Their detail is truly amazing and their final creations strongly resemble the real thing. This is just one of the crafts from the east that has deeply impressed me over the years, their ingenuity and skill is almost unbelievable!

If you enjoyed this, please vote it up and leave a comment. You may also enjoy the video below and my first hub about this technique:

The history of Siam Soap Flower Carving

Thanks for reading my hub!

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    • Vampsdes profile image

      Vampsdes 4 years ago from Missouri, US

      I am amazed to wacth her carve that soap so fast! The speed in which she carves it while still displaying so much detail in literally unbelievable! The decorative soaps are beautiful in their finished states as well. Very interesting hub, voted up!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      In a world where everyone has to have the latest gadget, I love to see that traditions like these are passed on.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Wow unbelievable!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Brett,

      It would take a steady hand and definite artistry to create these beautiful soap sculptures. Enjoyed your other hub on the subject also. Voted beautiful, interesting and will share. Thanks!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      This is truly a piece of art! Look at the details. . .Wow!

      Great video, I loved watching them carve with such a flair. This is a soap too beautiful to use. Thanks for SHARING!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      I am in awe of the skill and expertise these soap carvers have. The video brings some of the intricacies of the carving process to light.

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      You know when someone makes carving look THAT easy, it's REALLY hard. :) Great hub! Voted up and SHARING!

    • Emma Harvey profile image

      Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      What a lovely idea. I have never seen these before but they look so pretty and it's good to see how it's done. Very nice indeed.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Ah, the scraps are recycled, no need to worry about that. They are reprocessed to make bars of soap again, after all, these carvings are made from normal soap bars. Glad you liked it, it really is a wonderful art form!

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      This is awesome! That lady in the video made it look so easy! I was just wondering what did they do with the other scraps of soap... I hope they use them to make more cutie soap pieces too..

      Voted up and awesome! I like this hub so much! :D

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 5 years ago

      Beautiful work you have wrote about. What do they do with the soap shavings that are carved away? Voted up.

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Well, now I have to try this! I'll let you know how it turns out!

      Thanks for including the video. These are beautiful!


    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      They are works of art! I took the time to watch the video. It is fascinating how easy she makes it look. Voted beautiful.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Very impressive. I wish I had the skill to do these... and the patience. I am glad this didn't become a lost art. It is things like this that are truly amazing! Thanks for Sharing!

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      What a beautiful skill!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Thanks. The video really helps show off their skills eh

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      How cool! I have never seen this technique before. Voted up and shared.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Thank you all for your comments. This is a skill that many Thai students learn at school, but unfortunately not many continue with ... it really deserves preserving.

    • merchantdoctor profile image

      merchantdoctor 5 years ago from Reno

      I saw these in Thailand and they are truly amazing. Thanks for sharing this beautiful art form.

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 5 years ago from Close to Heaven

      Very beautiful. Thank you for sharing. :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      I don't think I've ever seen soap carvings. I totally enjoyed reading about it and watching the video. The artist makes it look so easy! Thanks for a very nice hub! Voted up and Tweeted!

    • learner365 profile image

      Saadia A 5 years ago

      This is an amazing craft and i loved reading every bit about it. My vote up and beautiful.

      Thanks for SHARING !!!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 5 years ago from North Texas

      An intriguing skill and such beautiful results! Watched the video and surly a lot of patience is required to learn how to do this. Voting you UP, interesting, and beautiful!

      Thanks for SHARING!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      I read both this hub and History of decorative Siam (Thai) Soap flowers carving crafts. It is very interesting to know the creative work from Thailand. Thanks for sharing. Rated both these hubs interesting and Vote up on both.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Thanks for all you kind words. It is an amazing skill they have and it should be preserved! I think in this modern era that truly handmade goods are becoming more popular, as they are so rare.

    • ITcoach profile image

      ITcoach 5 years ago from United States

      This is such an incredible craft,the idea that the scent lives on for a long time is also appealing and the video is very cool. All the detail is amazing. For this beautiful hub Voted up and Awesome.

      Thank you so much for SHARING with us!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Hi Sharyn's Slant,

      Yea, the detail blows me away, I don't know how they can carve like that! Thanks for the votes and SHARE too.

    • Debra Charney profile image

      Debra Charney 5 years ago from United States

      Amazing skill these artisans have!! The video was very interesting.

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I also remember these gorgeous souvenirs when we were in Thailand. Thanks for sharing how they're made.

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 5 years ago from California

      And they said handcrafted items aren't appreciated anymore. Pa-sha! How lovely! Great hub!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      These are truly beautiful works of art. Human talents are amazing

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Wow Brett,

      This is such a beautiful craft and the video is very cool. The detail is amazing. Voted up and shared.

      Thanks for SHARING!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Hi Lady Rain,

      Thanks for reading and commenting ...

    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 5 years ago from Australia

      Beautiful and amazing!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Hay Alocsin,

      Thanks for the votes ... it is an amazing skill eh

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Incredible. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Hi Trimar7 and Phil Plasma,

      Thanks for stopping by, having a read and taking the time to comment.

      Yea, they definitely have some good skills .... Thai people actually start learning the art-form at school and develop it over a lifetime! The scented soap is aromatic ... they are careful which brands of soap they use, as they know that when a person sees a flower ... they SNIFF it! ;-)

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      It really is amazing art. The idea that the scent lives on for a long time is also appealing, so long as the scent itself is appealing. You got a vote-up from me.

    • trimar7 profile image

      trimar7 5 years ago from New York

      Beautiful - very skillfull hands

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Hi Snurre,

      Thanks for the 'ever so slightly' enthusiastic comment ;-) - much appreciated! They are incredible pieces of art ... especially when you see how they are made.

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 5 years ago

      Wow, just WOW!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Yea, it is a unique craft ... I couldn't do it myself, but admire their skills! That said, Thailand has many artistic talents within its borders ... their Asian style woodcarvings are really fantastic too.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      I see these everywhere on the street here and have never watched them being made. Wonderful, Thanks Peter

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