Soapstone--no samples & not much choice
I keep reading all of these posts about the different varieties of soapstone and people taking samples home to attack them to see how sturdy they are. Then, people comment on the qualities of the variety they have chosen. I'd like to be able to shop that way, but it doesn't seem to be happening in the upper midwest where I live.
Do all of you people who have all of these opportunities for samples and learning about different varieties live on the east coast? There is not much knowledge here or much soapstone available. Even the distributor with the widest range of soapstones in the large metro area where I live doesn't have samples and can't categorize many of them as to name. He also tells me that many are called different names by different people, and often different areas of the quarry where the soapstone is quarried can vary as to hardness and softness. I've been able to do the fingernail test on the edge of the slab, but that is about it. That and taking photos...
I do not want to just order online from some place like Teixeira where I know many of you get your samples. I want to actually see the slabs, and I want to shop locally.