Reproduction Soapstone Mould
A soapstone (steatite) mould for casting jewellery. This reproduction is double-sided so that it can be used to cast the main brooch or two disc brooches simply by reversing the mould. It is based on known examples of soapstone moulds but the main mould has been created to reproduce the Barker Gate brooch from Nottingham. Soapstone or steatite was widely used in Scandinavia and the Viking diaspora, as it is soft and easily carved, in particular for cooking vessels in cultures that did not produce ceramics. There are soapstone quarries in Norway, Shetland and Greenland. Soapstone objects found elsewhere generally suggest a Viking link to one of these places, though smaller ones are often repurposed from what were originally larger vessels.