BlackPearl's of Wisdom
S.J. Foster -
Gluing - Soapstone
may be glued easily for repair or construction. Mix
soapstone dust into an epoxy or polyester glue. After
the glue has set, sand and polish the glued areas.
Construction of unique shapes may be achieved by gluing
several stones together. This can result in considerable
savings compared to carving from a single piece of
stone. For best results, the bond should be between flat
surfaces. For added strength, pin stones with metal rods
- Some soapstone is much too soft to hold good detail.
BLACKPEARL, while it is still soft enough to carve
easily, will hold sharp details and not scratch easily
when polished. It has the structural strength to be
carved with a hammer and chisel. BLACKPEARL has an even
consistent hardness without hard spots and impurities,
which are difficult to carve around or next to
impossible to polish properly.
Weight of BLACKPEARL is 180-lbs per cubic foot.
To determine the weight of any piece, divide the cubic
Inches (length x width x thickness) by 9.6. For example,
6 x 8 x 12 = 576 cubic inches divided by 9.6 = 60-lbs.
Outdoor Sculpture - The
properties of BLACKPEARL make it ideal for outdoor sculpture or
fountains. Unlike many stones, which deteriorate under outdoor
conditions, BLACKPEARL is impervious to temperature changes and acid
Patina - BLACKPEARL can be heated to high temperatures
without cracking. Therefore, it is possible to patina soapstone as
you would patina bronze. Try heating a stone and brushing on a
solution of water and cupric nitrate to produce a green color.
Wax & Oil Sealer
- Warm a spot on the stone with a propane torch until it is hot
enough to melt wax. Apply beeswax or other hard wax to the heated
area. Then, rub off excess wax and polish the surface using a soft
cloth. Another technique is to apply artist grade linseed oil. Allow
each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
Hammer and Chisel - BLACKPEARL can take the impact of a
hammer and chisel. A wood chisel shape carves the best. You can hit
it hard and carve it fast.
Splitting - Any size stone may be split by this simple
procedure. First, cut a saw kerf across the length or width of the
stone by using a carborundurm masonry blade on any type of power
saw. Second, wet the saw kerf and insert wedges approximately 1 inch
deep every 6 Inches along the length of the kerf. Wetting the kerf
provides lubrication for the wedges to slide more easily. Third, hit
the wedges with a hammer evenly and lightly until enough pressure is
built up to split the stone. If wedging is done properly, you should
hear a musical ring and feel the wedges tighten in the kerf with
each strike of the hammer. The wedges lose their effectiveness if
they hit the bottom of the kerf before the stone splits. If this
happens use a thicker wedge. Wedges can be made from tips of old car
and truck leaf springs, These usually can be bought at an auto
junkyard. Cut them off to about 6 inches in length. It is useful to
have wedges of varied thickness