First Steatite (Soapstone) Sculpture/Carving

Always love the Caribbean and the creatures on land and in water there. This is a sculpture out of the rock Steatite. Fairly soft and easy to work. This stone had some grit in it that are much harder than surroundings, so it didn’t really finish to a high shine. It is about 6 inches tall, 6 inches wide and about 8 inches long. I had to make the image greener to show the stone color which is a sea green. This is my first serious attempt to carve rock. BTW, what is the difference between sculpting and carving?


Just lovely work. I can almost feel the smoothness in my hands.

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AWESOME @Dale ! Like, wow, this is REAL 3D modeling! Um, if I were to guess, sculpting is where you shape an object like clay, using organic(soft, formable) materials. In contrast, I think carving is taking a base(soft or hard) and giving it definition by carving(or maybe chiseling) it. The words are kind of confusing, because when you think of “sculpture” it’s normally something hard, but that’s my best guess! :upside_down_face: Really nice work!

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Thank you!
Sculpting/carving: The subtractive vs additive is what I was thinking too but then Michaelangel’s “David” is something I have always heard referred to as a sculpture. I assume you sculpt sculptures: grinning: It doesn’t really matter but I have always been a little confused about it.


@Dale You’re welcome! :grin: I’ve dabbled with clay, but I’ve never physically “sculpted” something like what you created(it’s really awesome). I digitally create 3D models, so I thought I’d try to guess at this question that was kind of similar!

@ [TheMustardSeedLife]
Nice artwork and an interesting username.
Reminds me of a book I have on Chinese painting reprinted from the original in 1956 titled “The Mustard Seed Garden, Manual of Painting”. Fun book too.

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Revisit: Sculpture/Carving.
After a lot of thought I think my confusion comes from verbs vs Nouns.
I think you can carve or sculpt a sculpture. In terms of general use, a carving mostly seems to refer to wood. Although you can carve a turkey, :grinning: or sculpt ice or a pile of mashed potatoes.

If this is your 1st serious attempt, which is first class, then I definitely want to see more. By the time you’ve got to your 10th, it will be amazing! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Nice to see some alternative artwork. I made an air dry clay crab just to see if I could last year, based on a Sally Lightfoot from the Galápagos…see what you think?

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I think it is very good, quite impressive. What are the dimensions? Looks to be a good size.

I have some Sargent air dry in white and terra cotta. Thinking about doing an octopus with it on a small 1/4" thick plexiglass sheet. Either that or on a piece of epoxy. Meanwhile working on a small polar bear in White soapstone. This piece is as hard as a pipestone or alabaster. I have to do all the pieces everyone else does :grinning:

@ReetPetite , AWESOME! The texture is just, amazing! Did you paint it afterwards to achieve the color?

Thanks……yes, painted afterwards in blended layers with acrylic paints and then sealed.

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It’s about 9 x 6 inches. I love the octopus idea and look forward to seeing the end result for the polar bear…that’s an interesting but tough subject.