Hand Carved Soapstone Maasai Chess Set - 14" Board - Smolart
Frequently Asked Questions
Meet the Artisans
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.
Q - How do I qualify for free shipping?
A - All orders over $50 that are shipped to the United States qualify for free shipping and will arrive in 3-4 days.
Q - How long before I receive my order?
A - If you live in the United States your order will deliver in 3-4 days if you selected Priority Mail or you qualified for free shipping. International orders vary by country. The most common international countries are: England, Australia, New Zealand and western Europe take 7 to 10 days. This does not apply to custom printed orders.
Q - What are Memory Cross cards made of and how durable are they?
A - The small Memory Cross cards are printed on 10 point coated board (think playing cards). The larger cards which measure 6 x 6 inches are printed on 100 lb. uncoated cover (think Hallmark card). We've tested each size and they hold up to hundreds of folds. The larger cards hold up longer because the "hinges" that allow them to fold are larger. We've tested the larger cards to fold over 500 times. That being said it is still important for the cards to be folded properly. Most children can figure it out on their own but if you are giving them to 4 or 4 year olds we recommend that you show them how it works. If you do not know how they work, we've created a video that you can watch by clicking here.
Q - What guarantee do you offer?
A - Memory Cross offers a 100% money back guarantee if you are not happy for any reason. We even pick up the cost of shipping the product back. Here is the link to our full return policy.
Q - Can cards be customized?