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Bauhaus Chess set was first designed by Josef Hartwig (1924) in Bauhaus (Weimar, Germany). It transforms traditional chess pieces into geometric symbols, based purely on the function of the movement of each piece. The rook is reduced to a large cube, the horse - to two stacked L-shapes, and the queen - a large cube with a sphere resting on top, to mention a few.
Each chess set is handmade in Nazareth, Pennsylvania USA. The chessboard measures 12" x 12" / 30.5cm x 30.5cm.
The idea to create a high quality reproduction of the Bauhaus Chess Set came from my long-standing interest in chess, and a recent trip to Germany where I learnt of the history of Bauhaus and this chess set. I loved the minimalist design and how perfectly the functionality of each piece was embedded into the shape. After creating a set for myself, I wanted to share it with people who are also passionate about craftsmanship, design, and chess.
Sculptor Josef Hartwig designed what is now recognized as the Bauhaus Chess set in 1924 while teaching at Bauhaus. Reflecting the core philosophy of Bauhaus, Hartwig's design featured simple materials, and reduced each chess piece's design down to its most basic functional components.
If you would like to read more about the history of Bauhaus, Josef Hartwig, or this particular chess set design, here are some interesting articles I found:
A high attention to detail was taken to ensure the design accurately emulates the core elements of the original Bauhaus Chess Set.
I create each chessboard using hand-selected woods to ensure the most vibrant color and best grain-pattern possible. I use a micrometer to check width of each slat, increasing the level of precision during production. Once a chessboard is complete, I plain and sand each board, then finish with a water-based clearcoat to give the board a semi-glossy and protected finish. Boards measure (12" x 12" / 30.5cm x 30.5cm) and are made completely of natural woods (absolutely no stains or painting).
Backers will receive a 12"x12" (30.5cm x 30.5cm) chessboard made of solid Maple and Walnut, 1 set of Maple chess pieces, 1 set of Walnut chess pieces, and a storage bag for the pieces.
Risks and challenges
There are always risks that can arise during a project like this that involves production, but I am confident in my ability to produce the chess sets.
Production risk will be minimized since I am producing all the chess sets myself in my personal workshop. Since I have already produced a prototype, I have a success already in producing this chess set, and have worked out many of the production-related difficulties. Wood is sourced personally from local suppliers that I have established connections with. Should any obstacles arise, I will fully communicate it with my backers and outline my solution.
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