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AFRIKIKO – Product information – Soapstone items from Kisii, Kenya:

The Kisii soapstone is mined in the Southwest of Kenya. Kisii, one of the districts in Kenya, which is near the famous Lake Victoria, has more than 90% of all soapstone deposits in the whole world.

Soapstone belongs to the genre of Steatites. Technically it’s talc. The various colorations and striations running through it are formed by the leaching of different minerals through the stone as it sits underground (particularly iron). Since it’s a soft kind of stone it is very easy to handle. Craftspeople produce each piece without the help of any mechanical devices. Soapstone appears in various shades and colours which adhere to different levels of hardness. The white stone is the softest one and is most easy to handle. The orange and pinkish one is a bit harder and the rosy coloured is the hardest and also the heaviest kind of soapstone. You will sometimes find some greyish or anthracite coloured stone.

Before you hold a beautiful, decorated and polished Afrikiko soapstone product in your hands, it has passed through a long production process:

First the raw stone is cut from the quarry. Then it is grated and rasped to the final shape by the chiselers in our workshops. Before the dyeing and incising begins each piece is sanded until it meets all our demands on quality. That means it has no sharp edges, can stand without jiggling and has no dents or buckles.

Now the product is dyed and – depending on the individual design – the patterns are incised with a very fine knife. Finally the product is polished with natural wax to make the colours really shiny.

If then the product has passed the journey from Lake Victoria to your place you are in property of a naturally beautiful and totally handmade piece of art.

Please keep in mind the following:

  • Each item is handmade and therefore unique. You will not find any item which is 100 % identical to another.
  • Soapstone is a soft kind of stone. Any contact with sharp things (forks, knifes, etc.) will affect the product and will cause scratches.
  • Unlike ceramics soapstone items are not varnished. The colours are only applied on the surface and the products are only polished, not finished. Soapstone products are not food-safe. Any acid for example from fresh fruits or salad dressings may affect colour and finishing.
  • Any barcode or price sticker directly attached on a soapstone product may cause damage to its colour because of solvents contained in the glue.
  • Do not put soapstone items in the dishwasher. Use a wet cloth for cleaning. Avoid using cleaning agents.
  • Do not use for storing liquids. Soapstone is very porous.
  • The character of soapstone products is also determined by its natural grain. For coloured products the grain is still visible through the colour. This sometimes might appear as dark patches on the surface.
  • Do not give small soapstone products to children. They might swallow them.
  • If one of our soapstone products loses its shine you can polish it with natural wax or olive oil and it will be shiny again.

Enjoy your handmade natural soapstone product!

Afrikiko Team!!!