This hand-carved soapstone nativity set is a wonderful way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas! Features a 12-piece set of figurines hand-carved from Kenyan soapstone and a banana-fiber barn that doubles as storage when not on display. Figurines include Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Wisemen, Shepherd, Angel and assorted animals.
- The tallest soapstone figurine measures approximately 6-inches tall
- Banana fiber barn measures approximately 8-3/4 inches tall by 5-3/4 inches.
- Barn features doors that open to store the figurines.
- Each piece is made from natural stone. Color variation can range from cream to pink to gold to gray in any single piece or assortment.
- Soapstone is a soft stone, making it easy to carve into many forms. Handle with care to avoid breakage.
Each piece has gone through multiple stages of sanding and waxing, giving the soapstone a satiny finish.
The Story Behind the Art:
Each sculpture is artfully hand-carved from a single piece of Kisii soapstone, found only in the hills of southwestern Kenya. Mining the soapstone from surface hills is a labor-intensive process, using little to no machinery. Laborers work with shovels, picks, axes and machetes to carve out large soapstone chunks, which are then carved into beautiful art.
Storage barn is made from recycling the dried fiber of banana plants, which would normally be discarded. Craftspeople use their talents to transform the banana fiber into new, eco-friendly art forms. First, the banana fiber is dried, and then a light varnish is applied. The varnish on the banana fiber, with its many shades of brown, resembles textured tortoise shell. Once the process is complete, the artisans cut the fiber into strips to make one-of-a-kind goods.