As a sculptor in Rochester NY, I divide carving stone into 2 groups, soft stone and hard stone. Soft stone such as marble and limestone have been the stone sculptors’ first choice for thousands of years. Tough, durable and beautiful, they can be easily carved, which makes them perfect for outdoor stone sculpture.Hard stone, such as granite, can be displayed outdoors with no concern for weathering and fading of its polish. Sunlight, wind, rain and snow have no effect on its polished surfaces. Getting dirty is the biggest problem, which can be easily fixed with soap, water and a scrub brush. These hard, tough stones are difficult and slow to carve, but they reward the persistent sculptor with spectacular crystalline structure and color.