Notebook, 1993-


Marble - Granite - Limestone - Soapstone


A general term for any crystalline, granular, unstratified igneous stone which is an intimate amalgam of quartz, potash feldspar, and mica. Granite is of world-wide distribution and has many varieties, differing in texture and coarseness. It occurs in a wide range of colours--grey, green, rose, yellow--and the small scales of mica give it a lively sparkle. It takes a brilliant polish on a mirror-smooth surface but is one of the most difficult stones to carve because it is physically very compact; its ingredients are harder than ordinary steel. Nevertheless, its durability and resistance to weather have made it popular for monumental sculpture and at all times when permanence was valued, notably in ancient Egypt. Granite has been used comparatively little for sculpture on a small scale, since its properties preclude delicate carving.

[Chilvers, Ian, Harold Osborne, and Dennis Farr, eds. Oxford Dictionary Of Art. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.]



The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only. The contents of this site may not be reproduced in any form without proper reference to Text, Author, Publisher, and Date of Publication [and page #s when suitable].