Not Just a Stone

Soapstone articles need attention and maintenance, like other delicate items we put on display in the living room or elsewhere. Radha Prathi gives a few tips on how to take care of them.
If you have been on a tour in Karnataka and Maharashtra, you could have never missed soapstone products sold in tourist spots.For those of you who are wondering what soapstone is all about, it is nothing but a grey soft stone that is hewn into various articles of utility and display. They could be turned into lamps, containers, figures of gods and goddesses, pen stands among other things, by nimble fingers of local sculptors who have mastered the art.
People of earlier generations used utensils made of these stones as they have a high heat retaining capacity and to store ingredients used for cooking. Once lighter and low maintenance substitutes were introduced in their place, soapstone structure took the form of artefacts.

Exotic facade
People cannot resist picking up these pieces for their offices and homes because they appear exotic in their ash grey facade, bulky yet ornate in appearance, and they are available at very affordable prices. They can blend into a very formal set up, even in a board room. Yet over a period of time they get lost into the background. If you have such soapstone structures at home, it is time to give them a makeover.

soapstone lamp

soapstone lamp

oil well

oil well

Gentle wash
Just wash them clean under running water to get rid of the dust and grime. Since the stone is very soft, it tends to chip or break when handled carelessly, hence check the article for minor damages and then use fevicol to fix it. Bring out your set of fabric paints and brushes and paint into the carved grooves in contrasting colours of your choice. Lo and behold you will have a personalised and interesting artefact ready for display. You could paint them in yet another set of colours when you feel the need for a change.

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