A personal selection of photographs with their stories.
JANUARY 2009: Soapstone
Soapstone is extracted in large quantities in the state of Minas Gerais. Ouro Preto, former capital of the state, is nationally known for the extraction and processing of soapstone. This rock, also known as steatite, is mainly composed of talc and its color is white to gray or green, depending on the degree of iron contamination. Because of its soft texture, soapstone is ultimately suitable for sculpting and carving. For example, the famous Twelve Prophets of Aleijadinho in Congonhas are carved from soapstone, and Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro has a soapstone outer layer. In the center of the historic city of Ouro Preto, the local soapstone market is easy to find. Several independent sculptors offer their creations there. The patterns and designs may look the same, but a few managed to create unique images. The soapstone sculptors and carvers do the finishing touch at the market, as shown in the photo.
© Adriano Antoine Robbesom 2009, 2016