These soapstone hearts are made by a cooperative on the south-western side of Kenya. Their workshop is partly outdoors overlooking the beautiful green hills. The pieces are made in stages. After mining and hauling the stone to the workshop, the carvers saw the stone into smaller pieces – they hack the rock into the shape of the piece it is to become using machetes, and then carve more definition into the pieces using chisels and other basic hand tools.
Once they have achieved the rough shape of the item, they pass it along to the sanders, who wet sand the piece until it is perfectly smooth to the touch. Then it has to dry in the sun. As soon as the pieces are dry, different artisans paint and etch the soapstone. If you run your fingers over your piece, you will feel where the artisans have etched a word or a pattern into the piece.