Soapstone Carving has grounded me, not only in my forms of expression but in my cultural identity as well. That journey of discovery is just beginning to unfold, and I’m beginning to realize how deeply I would have benefited from access to this artform, in my youth, when I craved the peace and freedom that I’ve now found.
I would like to one day help Indigenous art forms, like soapstone carving, become incorporated into Canadian art curriculums; giving the young people of this land a chance to embrace practices that can be both healing and expressive. Carving can be a very relaxing and therapeutic artform, hours and worries alike fade away as the stone begins to take form. The length of time required to mold the shape by hand, in place of an industrial drill, creates a very soothing pass time. I’ve learned a great deal of patience from the pieces that I’ve tried to rush, even more from the ones I pick up now and again over months, sometimes years. When a piece may crack, or simply look in the mood for a makeover, you can always rework the stone, sand it anew and let the wax set on it’s newest shade. The final step is my favorite, after hours of filing and sanding pale dry stone; water polishing and wax reveal the natural beauty of the stones themselves. Colours and designs I could never have imagined as I had pictured the piece it could be.
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