As of the last month I have been inspired to attempt a little soap stone carving. A few of my artist friends have expressed the meditative qualities of the process,and how beautiful and amazing it made them feel. So naturally I too would like to experience this. So I got a stone and some rasps.
As a printmaker I felt confident with the idea of putting in time and the need for a process, maybe a little to confident. I am struggling! Yes it’s true, me and the soap stone are not new BFF’s if you get my drift. I thought a soft stone you can scratch with your fingernail would be easy and all I would need were a few rasps and a bit of sand paper. Then mix in a couple of hours of time and I should have a form showing. Not the case, this stone is a lot denser that I thought, hours of sanding and I have a dent in the stone. Funny I know! I could spend days on a lino block, a copper plate, even a drawing and be fine because I can see the progress of the process. But this adventure in soap stone has been frustrated, the process is a little to slow in even for me. I am tempted to get a dremel as I think a little power being the sanding may move things along a touch faster. But this is a investment that I think may not be a long term benefit, so I am re-framing from the purchase and pushing through with what I have.
Even though I feel a touch defeated I will keep chipping away at it and finish what it was that I started with. Although I think my final image will be at the mercy of the stone, I hope to have a picture to share that is more than a dent. At the end of the say I found a new process, with a new set of rules in the art of patience. It’s makes me happy to know that as curious people we never stop learning.