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Steatite bear
By arthawk87   |   Watch
13 15 581 (1 Today)
Published: March 29, 2013
© 2013 - 2019 arthawk87
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Handmade steatite (or soapstone) bear I made during my internship at a mental health clinic. I started working on it with no particular idea in mind. Eventually it started looking like a cow, so I thought "Okay, a cow it is, then". And now it's a bear. ... I'm not really selling myself very well here, am I? Anyway, I always liked bears and it seems my subconscious has a particular fondness for them :-).

No reference picture used. Photographed from three different angles with my fingers so you get a better idea of the proportions. After it was done (which took me about five or six hours), I polished it with some kind of ... well, polish and then carved two lines on its forehead.

I'm really proud of this, but I don't know what I'm going to do with it. For now it just stays on my desk until I find a proper place for it.

Credits to dierat for the background picture dierat.deviantart.com/art/Pape… .


PS. In case you were wondering (or not, maybe it just bothers me): The bear is symmetrical, the light just shines from the right.
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Comments (15)
ArcticIceWolf's avatar
ArcticIceWolf|Hobbyist General Artist
oh wie schön! Hab mal Wölfe aus Speckstein geschnitzt :)
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arthawk87's avatar
arthawk87| Traditional Artist
Vielen Dank :-)!
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ArcticIceWolf's avatar
ArcticIceWolf|Hobbyist General Artist
gern geschehen!
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N0rks's avatar
N0rks|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like that you made this "off the top of your head." It looks like you had fun working on it! :heart:
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arthawk87's avatar
arthawk87| Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot and yes, it was fun working on it. :D
(Sorry for the late reply; I think I must have overlooked your comment... my inbox is so full, I don't know if I'll ever make it through all the comments and replies and stuff...)
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N0rks's avatar
N0rks|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries about the late reply! :aww: You're welcome! :)
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lamelobo's avatar
lamelobo|Student Traditional Artist
awesome piece. i havent worked with soapstone much...but you did a great job. how did you polish it. and this is really a very kool piece!!! congrats. i would make a pendant. hehe i love bears. cheers. and thank you for posting...great work. :)
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lamelobo's avatar
lamelobo|Student Traditional Artist
i read you comments friend. that is awesome work...the polish you worked with...if you have any time. would you let me know what it was. i have some soapstone pieces. different qualities and have done some minor carvings with alabaster and softer stones....or even bone. but this bear is beautiful ...it caught my eye immediately !!! i am a bear person. ...well anyways....great job. i hope you do more friend. thank you.
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arthawk87's avatar
arthawk87| Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot, and sorry again for the late reply, I kept forgetting to check out the brand of the polish... Anyway, it's a Swiss brand I think. "Steatol - Polishing agent for soapstone" by sculptare. Here's a link to the online shop where you can buy it (only in German): [link]
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dugbud62's avatar
dugbud62|Hobbyist General Artist
Verra nice and welldone. I also have a piece change my mind. Many instinctive aboriginal carvers assert that the image escapes the bonds of media. If artist can become in tune with spirit. I see your of the bear clan.
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arthawk87's avatar
arthawk87| Traditional Artist
Thank you for having a look and taking the time to write a comment. Yes, I'm of the bear clan, so to speak :-). I wasn't aware of hom much I liked them until I made this piece, thus I agree with your comment 100%.
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dugbud62's avatar
dugbud62|Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, you might enjoy talking with dwdriver.He has a lot of aboriganil insight. I'm mostly Celt in origins. Yet the tribal seems to transcend. Or perhaps it's my primitveness being dominant.?
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ihni's avatar
Oh wow! Franzilla, I've never even heard of soapstone ... but now that I've seen what you've done, I want to try it too! This looks really awesome, what did you use to carve it? And polish it? It looks really amazing, especially since no reference was used.

This is STONE, then? Hm, it looks like it could be a beautiful pendant, but you'd have to find a way to attach a hook or something to it ... maybe with a tiny, tiny drill and some glue? Or you could just put it in an amulet bag and wear it around your neck.

So you're a bear person, huh? I never would have guessed.

Still, this is really beautiful. And it feels like the bear is a she-bear, somehow.
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arthawk87's avatar
arthawk87| Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot for your lovely comment. Yes, it's stone. There are different kinds of soapstone, ranging in hardness from very crumbly to very very hard. This one isn't that hard, I could make striations with my fingernail if I'm not careful. I used files to carve the rough forms, sandpaper after that to make things smoother. In the end, I polished it with polish (it was a special kind of stone polish, but I don't remember the name, or brand).

I guess you could buy soapstone in an art shop that sells more than the usual paper and pencils. I'm not sure, but from what I've heard from Leah I think it's rather pricy. But you should try it, you could make some amazing things.

A she-bear, huh? For me it feels more like a he-bear. What kind of animal person did you think I was? Apparently, people tend to think I'm a dog person, but I don't like dogs that much. But I like bears (and cats!) since I was an infant. So, what kind of animal person are you?
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ihni's avatar
Well, I thought you were a cat-person! Who doesn't mind small rodents or the occational moose. Bears just never ... got into that equation. But hey! It doesn't NOT fit, either!
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