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About Soapstone

Soapstone Carvings from Kent Conshfter Soapstone Carvings from Chupa

"Translucent to opaque, soapstone varies in color from white to green, grey, black, brown, pink, or yellow and every color in between, depending on the impurities present in the stone. Soapstone texture can be soft or fibrous. To the touch, it has a greasy soap like feeling, hence its name. Soapstone can be carved with a strait or clawed chisel and rasps, although some carvers also use power tools such as Dremels. The stone can be polished and with proper care brought to a fine luster by using various finishing techniques such as rubbing, waxing and oiling.

Soapstone has been carved throughout the world since ancient time and soapstone artifacts were found in Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese, Mayan, Eskimo and many other archeological sites.

Soapstone is softer than ivory or jade and considerably easier to work with. Many kinds of soapstone occur in natural deposits in Alaska, but most of the blanks used for carving are found in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

Soapstone carvings are being produced which include other types of material. For example a soapstone drummer may be using whalebone or antler or even a walrus jawbone drum. With many of the soapstone carving you receive contrasting materials as well."