Experience The Purity & Innocence of An Exotic Continent Through Jonathan Kioko’s Gallery
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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I’ve always known that interesting stories and special gems may be found in often unnoticed corners….last Saturday, I found exactly that, in a corner at Winter Garden Farmer’s Market.
Jonathan Kioko, a Kenyan sculptor of wood and stone has been a resident in Florida for over a decade. Some of his previous art works are found in Busch Garden and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He started carving since age fourteen back in Kenya. He also worked with a handicraft cooperative for four years before receiving a scholarship from the United Nation to come to USA to study in Southern University of Louisiana in Baton Rouge. Later, in addition to teaching young Kenyan sculptors to continue this tribal art, he was also invited to various parts of Europe to demonstrate and exhibit African art and culture through his beautifully carved Kissi stone (a type of soapstone from Kissi, Kenya),
For quite a few years, Jonathan ran his gallery in Lakeland, Florida, until much loss and damage occurred due to hurricane. He now runs his mobile gallery in various farmer’s markets: Winter Garden, Lake Eola, soon will also be seen in Windermere and Summerport Farmer’s Market . To ascertain of his whereabouts, please contact him via his phone: 863-738-9190.
A bit of embellishment on Soapstone Carvings out of Kissi stone, below:
Kissi stone are soapstones named after the Kisii tribe of Tabaka Hills in Western Kenya. These special hand carved soapstones from Kissi stone are used by Kenyan for domestic use and more recently for export due to their excellent craftsmanship. The carvers used to make mostly wild animal figurines,
but now are also creating contemporary abstracts,
candle holders, bookends, domestic pet figurines such as cats and dogs.
The soapstone/Kissi stone is first immersed into water so that it is easier to mold and carve. Once the stone is dry it will stay in its solid form. Color is then used to give a brighter look and is added on to some of the carvings. The cool soft touch of Kisii is unparalleled to any other stone in the world. So, visit Jonathan Kioko’s mobile gallery and touch a Kisii soapstone to experience the purity and innocence of an exotic continent.
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