Even after 7 years of carving soapstone with my students, I still don’t have a pair of soapstone earrings. Maybe next year. So today I wore totem bears carved from the “Virginia State Stone” that I bought at James Madison's home, Montpelier last summer.
For most of the children, as for me, that is the challenge: creating in 3D what we can imagine in our mind’s eye. But I find that the process of shaping stone is a great activity for my 3rd graders and their 7th and 8th grade mentors to share: hands busy, time to sit and chat, working with an unfamiliar material while working toward a goal. We made a lot of dust in the courtyard outside my classroom on what the weathermen said was our last nice day for a while. Tonight rain will wash the soapstone dust away. Something else to discuss tomorrow.