- Yulia Popova is a Russian soap maker who creates soaps that look like food.
- From chocolate cakes topped with raspberries to sandwich plates, her creations will make you hungry.
- Popova told Insider that some of her soaps have even fooled her customers.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
These dishes look good enough to eat … and wash with.
Russian artist Yulia Popova creates delectable-looking dishes from soap, including raspberry chocolate cakes and sandwich plates.
Popova spoke with Insider about her process and her favourite foods to create.
Yulia Popova is a Russian soap maker who creates realistic-looking products.
Popova started making soap when she was an university student. She was fascinated by the process.
“I thought it’s much more interesting to create something completely new than to buy ready-made molds,” she said.
She bought a bottle of silicone and started looking for objects to use for her molds. One of Popova’s first molds was a horse figurine that she found in her apartment. It was a difficult process, but she was proud of the end results. Afterwards, she decided to try making soap molds of food.
To create a soap mould, she will cook or buy whatever food she’s trying to replicate and encase it in silicone to capture its likeness.
Once the mould hardens, she will then remove it from the food item and pour the soap base, colour she desires, and the scent into the mould.
“If I need multi-colour soap, I pour it layer by layer,” she said.
It normally takes a couple of hours to make a mould, like the one used for this slice of pizza.
Given the nature of the process, Popova said she creates multiple molds at a time. Some of her more complicated dishes may take longer than others.
Initially Popova tried to make her soaps smell like the food they were replicating, but customers didn’t like the aromas.
“Without real food, it smells bad. I know, I sniffed them,” she said.
Popova started using scents of fruits, sweets, and berries for her soaps with the occasional oddity like cheese, cognac, or hazelnuts.
She has been making soap molds for nine years, and she’s turned it into a career.
After quitting a previous job, she was going to start looking for a new one, but instead decided to try selling her soap molds at handmade markets for a month.
“After four markets I realised that soap brought me enough money, and much more pleasure and self-realisation,” she said. “And I decided not to look for another job.”
Popova tries to make her molds look as similar to the real thing as possible.
These gummy worms may look like a delicious snack, but Popova wouldn’t recommend eating them.
Her molds have even confused customers on occasion.
“The most popular people’s reaction at the markets was, ‘Is this soap? And this one? And this one too?!'” she said.
Popova sells her products mostly online these days.
One of Popova’s favourite molds is for raspberries.
“I add them to all my cakes, waffles, jars, bowls,” she said of the fruit. “And my customers also love it.”
She would like to experiment with other products in the future …
“I would love to create something totally new, that nobody has made before,” she said. “That’s really hard, because everything has already been done. But I’m trying to find some new variants.”
… but for now she’s content to make people hungry with her unique soap molds.
The bread, ham, olives, and eggs on this plate might look like lunch, but they’re another of Popova’s soap creations.
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