The sedimentary rock sandstone carves so readily that even wind erosion works it into fantastic shapes. Early carvers and stonemasons found that making sandstone building blocks and carving them into bas-reliefs allowed them to build towering structures covered with sculpted forms. The temple complex at Angkor Wat consists of carved sandstone. Sculpting in sandstone requires little effort, and produces finely detailed results, but it is not particularly durable.
Sculptors have chosen beautiful and durable marble for their finest works of art for thousands of years. The Taj Mahal’s carved stone panels, the Elgin Marbles of the Parthenon and Michelangelo’s towering statue of David exemplify marble’s versatility. Marble carves easily and resists breakage, suiting it well for fine art or decorative sculpture. The metamorphic version of sedimentary limestone and calcite deposits, marble naturally occurs in white, pink, green, gray, brown and black, depending on the other minerals present during its formation. Sculptors frequently choose white marble for representations of the human form because its faint translucency gives the cold stone the appearance of living flesh.
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that is composed primarily of talc, with varying amounts of chlorite, pyroxenes, micas, amphiboles, carbonates, and other minerals.  Because it is composed primarily of talc it is usually very soft. Soapstone is typically gray, bluish, green, or brown in color, often variegated. Its name is derived from its “soapy” feel and softness.
Soapstone statue: The famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue that overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is made of reinforced concrete and faced with soapstone. The statue is 120 feet tall and was built on Corcovado Mountain.
Granite is a hardy but difficult stone to sculpt.
Granite is an igneous rock with a variegated texture, but no overall crystalline structure. Heavy and difficult to work, granite makes a durable basis for statuary that ancient sculptors used for important religious, political and funerary statues. Granite’s natural range of hues include grays, greens, reds, and blacks with an emphasis on darker colors. Ancient artisans used dark granite for dark figures such as the Egyptian goddess of destruction, Sekhmet. Modern sculptors find that its range of somber colors suits the heavy stone to funeral statuary and gravestone carving.