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What's the gray material shown in all the photos above, you ask? That's soapstone, friends, and it's the main material in most of the kitchen products from SPARQ Home. If you're new to the properties of soapstone, here's what you should know about it:

SPARQ Home, based out of Denver, began when owners Steven Chavez and Justin English sought to find a use for discarded soapstone. It turns out that 80% of mined soapstone is deemed "waste or scrap material" because kitchen design and construction companies (looking for countertop material, no doubt) want "large, flawless slabs," so anything that doesn't meet that standard is left behind. So, Chavez and English designed a line of soapstone products for the kitchen to make use of some of that waste.

Beyond merely being aesthetically pleasing, soapstone has a natural ability to maintain both cold and warm temperatures. As the company's About page states, "soapstone] is one of the most effective natural materials this planet produces for conducting and retaining temperature." The product line is designed to maximize this tendency, and includes a series of small bowls for sauces and dips (keep them warm or cold, depending what you want!) and a line of pizza stones and griddles, among other things.

You can purchase SPARQ products through the company's website, but Amazon is also an official retailer. (Check out the super positive reviews on one of the small bowls!)

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(Image credits: Sparq Home)

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