Soapstone Preform and Vessel.
On the left is a crude piece of soapstone known as a preform. A preform is a block of
soapstone that has been detached from a parent outcrop but has not yet been shaped into a
functional vessel. On the right is a fragment of a finished soapstone vessel. Notice the detail
along the edges where the sloping rim of the vessel is evident. Also the smoother surface
appearance of the vessel. To carve a soapstone vessel such as this one requires a skilled and
Reproduced by permission of Brent Murphy. Photo ©1997.