- SOAPSTONE - A WORLDWIDE LUXURY MARKET
About Soapstone, there are historical reports of use of this material in the world. It comes from the years 5000-3000 B.C in the city of Tepe Yahya in southeastern Iran, another examples are the Vikings (Scandinavia) who sells in their sea voyages, the people Lorubás In western Nigeria, where archaeologists discovered hundreds of statues of men and women of average size and India where the Temples of the Hoysala Empire were made of soapstone. This natural stone has always been considered within the highest luxury standards.
In now a days the main export market and occurrences of soapstone in the world, along with a large-scale production, mechanized and improved with current mining techniques are in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, more precisely in the vicinity of the city of Ouro Preto, a land famous for gold mining since of colonial Brazil.
The soapstone is waterproof and not affected by alkaline or acidic substances. One of the remarkable features of soapstone is its excellent ability to withstand temperature extremes from well below freezing to above about 1000 ° C. Exellent as a coating in the manufacture of stoves and fireplaces.
It is relatively soft and allows easily be carved, a fact that promotes its beauty with precious works of art like this, Portal Leon, created by the Brazilian artist Ronie Ryba, courtesy exposure to this article.
And yes, It's is also used to manufacture of gifts or souvenirs too, as chess boards, candle holders, picture frames, bottles, small sculptures, garden and landscape and, among many others, the interesting sundials. It depends on the creativity and skills of the hand on who does it.
In geological terms, Soapstone or your scientific name Steatite is a metamorphic rock of igneous origin, that has been exposed to high temperatures at great depths and under great pressure, consequently. In fact, these rocks can also be important types of gold deposits too. Obviously not all occurrences, but combined with other geological events are so interesting from that point of view.
Endless possibilities of use in architecture and interior design. A really relevant product of great beauty representing robustness and delicacy at the same time, proven durability, international appreciation and an excellent social status.