Father's Day is June 19th!
From hand-carved chess sets to our distinctive eyeglass holding noses (and more) we have the gift that's sure to become a treasured heirloom -- especially our carved stone line of gifts from Kenya. The cool, silky-smooth feel of each piece belies the rugged origins...
Our Kisii stone gifts are carved from a substance that's commonly called "soapstone" in the US. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that naturally occurs in a number of beautiful colours ranging from a light cream to black, as well as variations of yellow, red, lavender and grey. The color is dependent on the minerals present in the area where its quarried.
Kisii stone is found in southwestern Kenya, near the regional capital of Kisii. (Kisii is also the local language spoken by the Gussi tribe, who are the main inhabitants of the area.)
Once quarried, each piece of stone is rough-shaped using hand tools such as machetes, saws, and knives. Interestingly, when Kisii stone is wet, it becomes somewhat maleable. Artisans first immerse Kisii in water so that it is easier to mold and carve. Once the stone is dry it will stay in its solid form. After carving, the pieces are sanded and sometimes dyed before the designers take over and paint or etch patterns into the stone. The last process is polishing which is done with floor polish and shredded sisal rope. It's hard work.
The sales of these carvings bring valuable employment to the area Kisii where most households are involved in some form of the production process.
Can't make it into your favorite Global Gifts store to do you shopping? No worries! We have an amazing selection of beautiful Kisii stone products for sale on our website.