Interesting Facts and Geological Lesson About Natural Soapstone:A naturally multicolored rock, Soapstone has been a medium for carving for thousands of years. Native Americans on the west coast traveled in canoes from the mainland to San Clemente Island (60 miles offshore!) to obtain soapstone for cooking bowls and effigy carving as early as 8000 years ago. Also known as Steatite or Soaprock) Soapstone is a type of metamorphic rock, largely composed of the mineral talc, which is rich in magnesium. It is produced by a geological process called dynamothermal metamorphism and metasomatism, which simply means the replacement of one rock by another of different mineralogical and chemical composition. The minerals which compose the rocks literally are dissolved and new mineral formations are deposited in their place. This occurs in zones where tectonic plates are subducted—the rocks are changed by heat and pressure, with the influx of fluids, but without melting.