Fair Trade Soapstone Vase
Handcrafted and hand painted by Kenyan women out of Kisii soapstone, named after the Kisii tribe of the Tabaka Hills in western Kenya—the only place it is found in the region. The soapstone is a metamorphic rock that consists of the mineral talc. Also commonly referred to as steatite, it is known for being soft and easy to work with; it may dent as part of the natural process but does not generally chip or crack.
Harkiss Designs is a member of the Fair Trade Federation. For many families, these soapstone carvings are their primary source of income; by purchasing fair trade you are helping the artisans lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty, and educate and feed themselves and their children.
As each piece is hand carved and hand painted, no two are exactly alike. Yours may appear different from the photo shown, but will be consistent with the theme of the design.
Materials: Kisii soapstone (steatite), nontoxic paints
Size: 8″ – 9 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ diam
Meet the Artist: Harriet Zaffoni – Harkiss Designs
Harriet Zaffoni operates Harkiss Designs as a social enterprise. Based on the concept of compassionate capitalism, Harkiss Designs works with artisans, most of whom are women, who draw upon their considerable skills to craft quality home and personal accessories using sustainable materials sourced nearby. Harriet makes the long journey from her New York home to her native Uganda at least 3 times per year. She establishes and carefully nurtures community homes and small workshops where East African artisans translate her insightful designs into beautiful jewelry, accessories, home decor and footwear with international appeal. She markets these products globally, largely through trade channels she helped to establish. She then invests a significant portion of the proceeds into supportive programs that benefit the artisans, their families and their communities so that everyone involved can prosper.