Soapstone is heat resistant and is an excellent covering for stoves and ovens. Native Americans made ‘boiling stones’ from soapstone. In those early days, cooking was done in a pit dug in the ground. A chunk of soapstone was placed in a nearby fire until it became hot. Sticks were used as a lever to lift the stone from the fire and into the pot. Did you know that the surface of the iconic of the Rio de Janeiro sculpture, Christ the Redeemer, is made of soapstone?
Soapstone is typically gray, bluish, green, or brown in color, often variegated. Its name is derived from its "soapy" feel and softness. Soapstone, also known as steatite, is found all over the world. In 2019, soapstone comes from Brazil. Significant deposits exist in England, Austria, Germany, and the United States.
Soapstone is the sculptor’s favorite because of its inherent pliability. In the present day, soapstone is used for both practical and decorative purposes. Ancient Egyptian Scarab signet/amulets were made of glazed steatite. Native American tribes made bowls and cooking slabs. Soapstone is used to carve Chinese seals. For centuries, soapstone has been used in India as a medium for carving.
The SmartHug Soapstone Tealight Holder is made of Palewa and Gorara soapstone delivered by trusted partners and supporters. This product originated in India. In India, slabs of soapstone were carved under a master sculptor to embellish the exteriors of Mughal forts and palaces in Rajasthan.
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How to establish the authenticity of soapstone:
- Rub the stone. Whether the product appears to be polished or not, it will have a waxy or soapy feel, therefore, the name.
- Hold the stone up to the light. When light reflects off the stone, there will be a sheen. The lustre of soapstone is either pearly or silky, depending on the variety.