Kenyan Safari Bowl
What is Soapstone?
Also known as soap rock or steatite, soapstone is the name given to rocks that contain a high amount of talc. Most of the worlds soapstone originates from Kisii in the western highlands of Kenya and so is home to the best soapstone artisans and carvers.
Before starting work the stone must be immersed in water to make it softer and easier to work with. Using a hammer and chisel the main shape is carved out and colour then added. A smaller knife, known as a kisu, is then used for the engraved design or illustration.
The mining of soapstone is all done entirely by hand – no mechanisation is applied. Quarries are back-filled and after 5-10 years the soapstone begins to reform, making this a wonderfully sustainable product.
Believed to have calming properties, it is thought that soapstone can help a person adapt and cope with change. It is associated with the Root Chakra, the number 7, the zodiac sign Sagittarius, and the element Air.
These items are carved so the one you receive could differ slightly from the pictures shown.