This stone is a translucent alabaster from Voltare, Italy. You can read the "123" on the side of the stone written in black, that is the weight of the stone. Alabaster is generally 147 lbs. per cubic foot, so you can get the idea of the size.
Next to the "123" you can see white areas within the stone. This is crushed stone and will only become more apparent as the sculpture progresses so my first step is to clean up the stone, carve away all the bruised areas, so that I know exactly how much stone I have to work with.
I love this stage, it's the initial greeting, where I get to discover the rock and learn what it will offer to the finished sculpture. This stone has a warm glow, when the sun drops low enough in the sky to shine on the rock. It seems very solid and I have been aggressive with my chisel to knock off any areas that are weak.