Soapstone is one of the most eco-friendly stones to harvest. Additionally, soapstone is naturally bacteria resistant, so no harsh chemicals are used in its fabrication and it can be cleaned with natural harmless products.
This soapstone is carved by a group of artists who live in the rural village of Tabaka, Kenya, the heart of soapstone crafts. Established in 1990, they a member of the WFTO, and as such assures that the artisans are paid a fair price for their work. In addition, the organization support community development by contributing to projects that improve living conditions, education, and health of their members and the village at large.
Soapstone is mined from great pits in the area surrounding Kiisi, Kenya. The mined soapstone is then delivered to carvers who carve sculptures from the natural stone for the wholesale market, the color of which ranges from cream to pink, to brown, to yellow, to black, to a marbling of all of them. Once carved, the craftspeople smooth rough edges of the soapstone with sandpaper dipped in water and polish the piece to a high gloss or paint African motifs in brilliant colors with etched accents.
All of the soapstone products are completely handmade. The tools consist of household items from screwdrivers, hand drills, to switchblades.
Their mission is to offer income-generating opportunities to craftspeople in developing countries by following fair trade practices including paying in advance at least the market price for items, ensuring that craftspeople receive payment, and ensuring that the craftspeople work in fair working conditions. We work directly with artisans, craftspeople, and producer groups to achieve these goals and hopefully help improve the lives of some of the people with whom we share this planet.
- Supports Artisans
- Fair Wage/Trade
- Creates Jobs