The gorgeous earth red of this bowl attracted me to it and the hippo of course, who is looking rather adorable although I have read that hippos have a fierce temper. Rather keep him cute and cosy in the bowl. This bowl is hand carved and painted by fairly paid workers in Kenya.
Kisii Stone is a type of soapstone found only in the Kisii region of South Western Kenya. Soapstone is an ideal material for kitchen ware as it is structurally dense and moisture clings only to the surface of soapstone and is unable to force its way inside, even under pressure.
Soapstone, while soft (as stones go) is beautiful and tactile. The skill of the carvers and artisans is incredible especially when you see first hand the hand held tools used.
The Red Hippo Soapstone Bowl is crafted by Art Safi, a registered self-help group in Tabaka in Kisii, Kenya. With over 40 artisans employed they are significant in raising the standard of living for local people. They also actively promote the employment of women in the soapstone industry.
Last year Shared Earth worked with Tabaka's fair trade advisor and focussed on challenging the role of women in the production of soapstone. Women mainly sand and polish the stone - the lowest paid part of the process. Tabaka rose to the challenge and are now training the women artisans to carve and paint the soapstone products.
Size: Diameter 10cm
Shared Earth's mission is to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged people in developing countries, benefiting local community projects and keeping alive traditional skills that would otherwise be lost.
Shared Earth have donated 200 masks to the Tabaka carvers and their wider community. They have also donated 4 hand washing barrels and provided training on soap making an income generating activity aimed at helping the community through the down turn in craft trade.
- To pay fair prices for the products they buy
- To ensure working conditions are acceptable
- To provide advice on design and product development
- To support suppliers and their local communities
- To avoid child labour
- To commit to long term relationships with suppliers
Ordered 2 of these which have pride of place on my fireplace. Absolutely love them, so original! Slight problem with one dish which was rectified super fast with no issues, great products! !
I don’t know why this little bowl is so appealing, but it just is!!
I bought one as a present but then when I saw it and maybe more importantly felt it, I ordered another for myself. I find something very calming about the weight and texture of it, not to mention the deep red colour and delightful hippo design.