Project image
)}
£111
pledged of £6,000pledged of £6,000 goal
3
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, May 26 2019 11:23 AM UTC +00:00
£111
pledged of £6,000pledged of £6,000 goal
3
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, May 26 2019 11:23 AM UTC +00:00

About

 Hi, my name is Ian Davidson, and I am a student at Coventry University, currently in my second year studying Illustration and Graphics. I grew up playing chess,  drawing, and making music. I have always been fascinated by anything creative.  

I am trying to raise money to create ornate, portable chess sets. These are created (mostly) by hand by myself and are a reflection of my art and my illustrative style. I hope that by creating a high quality, practical chess set like this I can inspire more people to get involved with the game, and also appeal to people who are already avid chess players but want to add a new dynamic to their game with a beautiful, illustrative set.

Chess

Chess boards have always felt to me like a wasted opportunity for creativity and artistic expression. The game of chess has so much room for expression within the confines of the ruleset and yet often I have seen board designs that have not pushed past the boundaries of a simple 8 by 8 board. In my graphical, illustrative art practice I love to explore the use of simple shapes and patterns, filled with tiny intricacies, in creating a bold visual statement. 

"I don't know" - A recent illustration of mine which helped inspire this project
"I don't know" - A recent illustration of mine which helped inspire this project

Ambiguity is very important in my practice as I usually shy away from figurative forms and try to keep the work open to interpretation. I want to stimulate the viewers mind and allow them to view the artwork in an almost meditative way. I first began playing chess with my dad when I was very young, although I wouldn’t necessarily call just knowing what moves the pieces can do “playing chess”. Over time you begin to realise it’s a lot more than that, and there is a lot of deep thought and planning, and visualizing that needs to go on in your head to be successful at the game. Thinking over your next move becomes a thoughtful, meditative act. The set I played with growing up, and still do when I visit home, was a beautifully carved Battle of Culloden set of pieces, my dad’s family all being Scottish. The board was hand carved by my grandfather, with lots of symbols and delicate imagery. I have found that by playing on a board that is really a piece of art in its own right gives the player the chance to reflect on more visual stimuli than simply the game state. I believe this gives more opportunity for the brain to mull over the potential moves and outcomes of the game, and allows for a more intellectually stimulating time spent playing the game. Although the visual content of the board does not directly affect the way a game of chess will go, I believe putting detail and care into the look of the board is imperative to create a board that captures the gravitas of a game created over 1500 years. Having a visceral, visual experience with the board greatly adds to the cerebral quality of a chess game.

View of the top of the board with all pieces stowed inside
View of the top of the board with all pieces stowed inside

I have created a board that heavily features my illustrative graphic style. Borrowing ideas and motifs from a broad range of my work I hope to have imparted a sense of the alluring and meditative into the board. Through scanning of original drawings and implementation of creative software I created the finalized design for the board before using a laser printer to etch the design into the surface of the wood.

Detailed view of the laser engraved board surface
Detailed view of the laser engraved board surface

The chess pieces were also created taking inspiration from my geometric art style. I have used basic shapes, lots of triangles, and combined them together to create the forms of the pieces. The detail has been engraved into the surface of the metal using a dremel.

View of the pieces arranged ready for a game to start
View of the pieces arranged ready for a game to start

As well as wanting to create a chess set that was beautiful and artistic, I wanted it to be portable. So I designed the set to be stored within its own box. The board forming the lid.

View of the pieces stored in the box
View of the pieces stored in the box
View of the lid secured
View of the lid secured

I am kickstarting this because I want to be able to create lots of these sets to encourage more people to play, as it seems as if less and less people are playing chess these days. The money raised is to be spent on materials. I will be using Marine Quality Plywood that will not be damaged by weather allows the set to be taken outdoors and used in most conditions. The top surface will be a beautiful Cerejeira wood veneer giving the finished product a top quality finish. A large part of the cost comes from the 0.5 mill aluminium and brass sheets used to produced the pieces. Another factor is labour time. As most of the set is carefully crafted and assembled by hand it is important to allow enough time to take act with care and precision to ensure every board is up to as a high a standard as the next.

I hope you choose to support this modern take on the classic chess board format.

Risks and challenges

The potential risks around this mainly stem from the delivery of materials to me and then the time of processing the veneers, and engraving the design into them. The delayed shipping of materials would have a severe knock on effect as the incredibly time consuming process of the laser etch cannot begin without materials.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    PDF of my artwork and research

    Receive a digital copy of my artwork and development work in regards to this project.

    Includes:
    • PDF of artwork
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About US$ 50

    Ornate Chess Board

    Chess Board with ornate design laser etched into Cerejeira wood veneer, over a Marine Ply body. Box doubles as a box to hold any set of chess pieces you desire. External Dimensions 210x210x70mm

    Includes:
    • Ornate Chess Board/Box
    • PDF of artwork
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About US$ 93

    Ornate Chess Set

    1 Ornate board. Face design laser etched into a Cerejeira wood veneer, over a high quality Marine Ply base. The face top surface of the board lifts off and the item acts as a box to hold the 32 hand crafted pieces. Crafted from brass and aluminum, set into Marine grade ply base. Box/board dimensions 210x210x70mm

    Includes:
    • Ornate Chess Board/Box
    • PDF of artwork
    • Set of Chess pieces
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 124

    Ornate chess set with print

    Receive the full chess set with pieces, the PDF of artwork and also a limited edition print of the main inspiratory illustration for this project.

    Includes:
    • Set of Chess pieces
    • Ornate Chess Board/Box
    • PDF of artwork
    • High Quality Print of Artwork
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 311

    Ornate chess set: Play with me

    I will personally hand deliver this chess set to you and we can have a few games and chat about all things chess, art, and music related!

    Includes:
    • Ornate Chess Board/Box
    • Set of Chess pieces
    • PDF of artwork
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)