Friday, 26 July 2013

Have you ever tried Soapstone Carving?

Hi Everyone

Hope you're still enjoying the sunshine! (Isn't it gorgeous?!)

As I do enjoy a bit of sun but don't want to give up on my crafting pursuits I've been thinking of what activities I can do in the sunshine. Of course there is always Efcolor enamelling (provided you have a sheltered spot away from breezes that is), but I fancied trying something new and a little different for a change. So I turned to soapstone carving!

I was pleasantly surprised at how therapeutic I found it. Not only do you have the pleasure of having something emerge and evolve under your hands (rather like modelling with clay) but you also have the tactile qualities of the soapstone as you work with it. Again, you do need a still day without too many strong breezes as you get a lot of fine powder coming off the soapstone but it is a lot of fun and it's up to you how refined you want the finished piece to be.

To give you an idea of the process here's a simple project of a turtle which uses a pre-cut base as a starting point.

1. Use soapstone rasps to refine the shape of the turtle.

2. Use coarse emery papers to refine the shape yet further, smoothing off any rough patches or sharp edges.

3. Use finer wet emery papers to really smooth the surface, removing any coarse emery paper ruts or gouges.

4. Apply a couple of coats of soapstone oil using a brush, allowing the oil to soak in after each coat.

5. Buff up the soapstone with a soft cloth.

6. Using the corner of the soft cloth, apply some of Efco's special soapstone polish all over.

7. Buff up the soapstone with the soft cloth once again, until you achieve a beautiful sheen. (If necessary you can apply more polish and buff it up again until satisfied.)

The finished Turtle.

Efco do a range of pre-cut shapes as well as boxes of assorted soapstone chunks. They also do all the tools you need to create wonderful, unique carved pieces. So if you've never tried it before I suggest you give it a go and let your imagination run wild...

Happy holidays everyone!

 Fee x


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