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STEATITE (Black Pipestone) for Carving

Steatite, also called Black Pipestone, is a soft metamorphic rock rather than a mineral. It is mainly composed of the mineral talc. Steatite is dense and close grained, with practically no stratification or natural cleavage lines and has a high transverse strength and high resistance to crushing.

On Mohs Scale of Hardness Steatite has a range of 2 to 5. Because of its high talc content, it's composition is mainly hydrated magnesium silicate. Also referred to as soapstone, Steatite also contains varying amounts of chlorite and amphiboles.

What makes this rock so nice for carving is that it resists the tendency to split, flake, chip or spall. Its texture is "soapy" to the touch, much like the red pipestone or catlinite. Steatite is light gray in color; however, when carved, polished, sealed with wax or oil and heated its color turns to a deep, rich hue of black.

You can also check out our Red Minnesota Pipestone for carving that special pipe.

Steatite - Black Stone

international shipping

In response to inquiries from our customers about wax for sealing and finishing Catlinite and Steatite pipes, we are now including a FREE, one ounce button of quality BEESWAX with every order; (except for International locations), which is enough for finishing a pipe/bowl or several smaller items.


S414a BLOCK - Nice Long Piece 10.5" x 4.25" x 1.75-2.0" SOLD
S414b BLOCK - Nice Big Carving Piece 9.0" x 4.5" x 2.75-3.0" SOLD
S414c BLOCK - Nice Piece 9.0" x 5.0" x 1.75-2.0" SOLD

Standard Sizes

Piece # Size Price
S413a 8.75" x 4.25" x 2.0-2.25" SOLD
S413b 8.75-9.0" x 3.25-3.75" x 2.0-2.25" SOLD
S413c 6.25-6.50" x 3.75" x 1.25-2.25"
Wedge Shaped
S413d 4.25" x 3.25" x 1.25-1.50" SOLD
S413e 3.0" x 2.75" x 1.25"
Small Project piece
S413f 4.0" x 2.0" x 0.50-0.75"
Nice Smaller Project piece
S413g 3.0-4.0" x 2.0-2.5" x 1.8"
Nice Smaller Piece; Angled Corner

steatite pipe Dear rocksandminerals,
"I recently ordered a couple of blocks of pipestone to carve pipes with. One of Steatite and one of Catlinite. I ordered the Steatite to practice with before I started in carving the more expensive Catlinite. However the result I obtained with the Steatite far exceeded my expectations. The stone is wonderful to carve and takes a good polish. It goes from rasp to file, to 320 grit, 400, and finally 600 literally in minutes. Wow! Beeswax brings out a rich and beautiful black. Amazing stuff. Please find an attached photo of my first effort. Feel free to use it on your website."
David Smith


Supplying quality educational materials for teachers, collectors and other educational organizations since 1995.