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Hand Carved Soapstone Animal Chess Set

Crafted by African artisans in Western Kenya using traditional techniques, this soapstone chess set will become a conversation piece during play or on display! The board is 14 - 15 inches square inlaid with pink and white soapstone. Each piece is hand carved in either pink or white soapstone. Due to the natural characteristics of soapstone, the colors will vary.  The game pieces are approximately 2.25 to 3.5 inches tall.

 Product Features:

  • Board measures approximately 14 - 15-inches and .25-inch high. 
  • A natural stone, color variations are to be expected and enjoyed for the one-of-a-kind beauty.
  • Due to the handmade nature of this item, each is unique and will vary slightly. 
  • 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.
  • Socially responsible products that empower consumers to purchase according to their values and help alleviate global poverty.
  • Fair Trade is an alternative business model that values safe workplaces, fair wages and community investment for factory employees.

Meet the Artisans

Metal Artisan in Haiti Our Soapstone is carved by the artists of SMOLArt a group of artists who live in the rural village of Tabaka, Kenya, the heart of soapstone crafts. The name, a shortened version of Small, Medium, and Large Artists, refers to the size of the soapstone products the artisans make, not their stature. Established in 1990, SMOLArt is a member of the WFTO, and as such assures that the artisans are paid a fair price for their work. In addition, the organization support community development by contributing to projects that improve living conditions, education, and health of their members and the village at large.

Soapstone is mined from great pits in the area surrounding Kiisi, Kenya. The mined soapstone is then delivered to carvers who carve sculptures from the natural stone for the wholesale market, the color of which ranges from cream, to pink, to brown, to yellow, to black, to a marbling of all of them. Once carved, the craftspeople smooth rough edges of the soapstone with sandpaper dipped in water and polish the piece to a high gloss or paint African motifs in brilliant colors with etched accents.


All of the soapstone products we sell are completely handmade. The tools consist of household items from screwdrivers, hand drills, to switchblades. "Pangas," sword-like tools usually used for cutting down vegetation, are used to cleave the stone in the mines.


Customer Reviews

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Emily Anderson
Beautiful, High Quality, Packaged Securely

This chess set is gorgeous. I found SMOLart’s soapstone chess sets listed a few different places online, but this was the best priced with the 10% off coupon. It came packaged very securely (I was even careful unboxing so I can use some of the packaging for storage/travel if and when needed).
The board is large and weighty, which makes it look and feel very nice. The pieces are all so gorgeous and detailed. They are weighty too. The only thing is I’m going to have to learn what animals serve as what pieces- but that should be easy.
This was my first purchase from Alternatives and I can absolutely recommend them. Shipping speed, communication, pricing, and product quality were all stellar.
Thanks so much!



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Meet the Artisans

Metal Artisan in Haiti Our Soapstone is carved by the artists of SMOLArt a group of artists who live in the rural village of Tabaka, Kenya, the heart of soapstone crafts. The name, a shortened version of Small, Medium, and Large Artists, refers to the size of the soapstone products the artisans make, not their stature. Established in 1990, SMOLArt is a member of the WFTO, and as such assures that the artisans are paid a fair price for their work. In addition, the organization support community development by contributing to projects that improve living conditions, education, and health of their members and the village at large.

Soapstone is mined from great pits in the area surrounding Kiisi, Kenya. The mined soapstone is then delivered to carvers who carve sculptures from the natural stone for the wholesale market, the color of which ranges from cream, to pink, to brown, to yellow, to black, to a marbling of all of them. Once carved, the craftspeople smooth rough edges of the soapstone with sandpaper dipped in water and polish the piece to a high gloss or paint African motifs in brilliant colors with etched accents.


All of the soapstone products we sell are completely handmade. The tools consist of household items from screwdrivers, hand drills, to switchblades. "Pangas," sword-like tools usually used for cutting down vegetation, are used to cleave the stone in the mines.

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