Soapstone is a nonporous, nonabsorbent and heat resistant metamorphic rock that is composed primarily of talc. Soapstone, also known as steatite, can be found all over the world. Much of the soapstone seen today comes from Brazil, China or India. Significant deposits also exist in Australia and Canada, as well as in England, Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the United States. Stones from different countries have different properties, but all are geologically stable, solid and not affected by humidity, therefore objects carved from soapstone last a very long time. Soapstone acquired its name due to its waxy or soapy feeling surface. The talc mineral in soapstone gives it a soft, smooth feel making it the perfect material to work into a carving or ornamental sculpture piece. In the art world, soapstone is used for inlaid designs and sculpture with some Native Americans using soapstone for traditional carvings. The outer layers of “The Christ Redeemer” statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are made of Soapstone because of its durability and ease of application. Soapstone carvings have been found in several places in the United States, both as pieces of art and useful objects.
Some pieces I've used this versatile natural stone in are The Alabaster and Golden Tiger.