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20 mins

Carving a soap ducky
Soap carving is often used as a precursor to carving wood—notably by the Boy Scouts of America, for whom it is a long-established tradition. Soap isn’t really
all that similar to wood, but it is cheap and readily available, and it offers a good way to introduce you
to handling knives and making some basic cuts. Use
a short-blade kitchen knife—the one you’d normally use for cutting vegetables is fine (but the blade should not be serrated).

Use straight pins with ball ends for the eyes—but if you use your completed soap ducky in the bathtub, remember to first take out the pins!

Posted by Chicago Review Press Published See Chicago Review Press's 6 projects » © 2019 Steve Tomashek / Chicago Review Press · Reproduced with permission. · Tiny Whittling is published by Chicago Review Press
  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 1
    Step 1

    Your bar of soap should be convex, not concave: a nice fat one is best. You could etch the side profile of the duck onto the soap if you like, but it’s not really necessary.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 2
    Step 2

    Establish the back, removing the area behind the head. Start about halfway across the top and cut toward the back, making large paring cuts—or you can do it little by little if you prefer. Cut to about halfway down the bar, scooping out the whole
    of the corner.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 3
    Step 3

    Establish the beak by cutting a curved corner off the top and a larger one off the bottom, leaving a flat piece at the front for the beak. It’s starting to look like a duck already.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 4
    Step 4

    Scoop out a small piece from the tail end, curving the knife around as you cut. Leave the rest of the bottom completely flat.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 5
    Step 5

    Narrow the head by paring 5 7 off the edges of the soap on
    both sides. Cut from the back
    of the head toward the beak,
    then turn the figure around and cut from the top of the head toward the back—but leave the back itself as wide as possible.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 6
    Step 6

    Make a paring cut to round off
    the back of the head, curving
    the knife around slightly as 6 8 you cut. Make a V cut at the
    bottom of the neck to establish
    a clear division between the
    back of the head and the body
    of the duck.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 7
    Step 7

    Establish the top of the beak and the front of the head. Cut a “ski slope” from the top of the head down toward the front in a smooth curve. Don’t cut too much off or your duck will be left with no beak.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 8
    Step 8

    Create the underside of the beak by cutting down in a curve toward the neck.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 9
    Step 9

    se paring cuts to slice off the sharp edges left by previous cuts and to refine the shape of the beak. This is the tricky part, so work slowly and look at the face carefully after each cut to make sure the shape is progressing as you want it.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 10
    Step 10

    Round off the remaining edges and tidy up the details, checking for balance and symmetry. Examine your duck from every angle and make small cuts, where necessary, to refine the shape until you’re happy with it.

  • How to make soap. Soap Ducky - Step 11
    Step 11

    Carefully insert the pins for the eyes and you’re done.

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