Soap as art?! It may seem strange, but soapmakers will tell you that their craft is a form of art, perhaps within defined boundaries. It is also a science.
I make cold process soap, which is made from scratch using oils and butters that are blended together and then reacted with sodium hydroxide (lye), which then saponifies and creates soap and natural glycerin. This is very different than the "soap" that is sold in stores!
Soapmaking can be quite an adventure, as the batter has a mind of its own, depending on what is added to it. It can get extremely hot and "volcano" or thicken up so fast that you can't even get it into the mold. It requires finesse to balance all these variables, particularly when experimenting with new ingredients.
Add to that color and swirls, essential oil blends, plant-based colorants and the possibilities are endless. Many soapmakers create beautiful artistic soaps that some people would rather display than use! My soaps are more utilitarian, as they are all-natural and palm-oil free, but I enjoy playing with color and patterns sometimes!