One of my grandfather's old customers stopped in to see me. He brought soapstone. Of course, my immediate question was, what should I do with this?
The scientific name for soapstone is steatite. It is composed mainly of talc, which gives it a "soapy" feel. Soapstone has been used for aeons and in many cultures. In fact, it is still a favorite carving medium. Some of its uses are architectural features, counter tops, coasters, "surrounds" for stoves, sinks, tombstones, ceremonial carvings, bowls, goblets, cooking pots, boxes, vases, paving stones... If I want to make something, I have a lot of choices.
I just realized that an object I have owned for years is most likely soapstone. It is a scarab amulet, dyed and glazed, in the Egyptian style.