How to Carve Soapstone

How to Carve Soapstone


If you have an interest in carving as a hobby, there are many different materials that you can use. Soapstone is a great carving material that is easy to use and beautiful to work with. It is very soft, making it a wonderful carving material for beginners.

Step 1

Create a work area by cleaning off a flat surface to use for your carving and covering it with newspapers. Put on your safety glasses. This is an important step for any type of carving that you do and will help you to protect your eyes. Decide on a design. When you look at your soapstone, you might "see" your design within the stone. Once you decide on the design you will carve, sketch it onto the soapstone with a pencil.

Step 2

Cut out all unneeded soapstone using a small wood saw. This should give you a rough estimate of what your sculpture will look like. Take off any damaged areas of soapstone with a wood rasp before you start carving. Use a hacksaw to remove large amounts of soapstone.

Step 3

Use a drill to make holes for areas that need to be cut out in the middle of the piece, such as around the legs of an animal sculpture. This is called pointing. Drill the holes 1/2 the depth of the stone and drill them very close together. You can then use a chisel to remove the exact amount of stone that you wish.

Step 4

Remove the broken stone so that you can see the area that you are working with. You can draw a center line on your sculpture so that your symmetry will be nice and even.

Step 5

Use files to shape your sculpture into the design you want. You should use your file tools to create detail in your design.

Step 6

Rub wet/dry sandpaper over your soapstone carving. Use fresh water with each new piece of sandpaper.

Step 7

Warm your sculpture in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. This will soften up the soapstone for polishing. Use furniture polish and a soft cloth to polish your sculpture.

Things You'll Need

  • Soapstone
  • Files
  • Water
  • Wood saw
  • Sand paper
  • Furniture wax
  • Safety glasses
Keywords: carving, soapstone, soapstone, carvings, how, to, carve

About this Author

Jennifer Brister a freelance writer located in Northeast Louisiana. She has enjoyed careers as an educator, a nuclear lab technician and a massage therapist. Her writing can be found in several publications, including "The Circle," "Carbon Cotton Magazine" and "Fashion Advantage Magazine." She has been employed as a professional freelance writer for three years.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Carve Soapstone