African Heritage Crafts
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For over 3 decades, African Heritage employed local and international designers to produce special crafts in wood, bone, pottery, calabashes, basketry, metal, textiles and other materials.
But soapstone, a unique and plentiful material resembling a soft marble from southwestern Kenya near the town of Kisii, was the material used for items for export as well as local sales. Several hundred soapstone carvers at African Heritage produced prototype designs which were then reproduced in larger quantities by family cooperatives at Tabaka, near Kisii. These products included designs in the natural color soapstone, while the white stone was hand painted, incised or batiked in various patterns including a series adapted from the famous hand woven and hand printed textiles of Africa.
Many outlets around the world distributed African Heritage soapstone, especially “As Art” in Paris, a firm which represented African Heritage with three galleries in Paris (which are still operating), and which won the “City of Lights” award several times for their brilliant displays of crafts at the world’s most prestigious home décor show in the world, “Maison et Objet”