I am not quite there yet but I’m getting there. Here is a sneak preview of the Sky Road Chess Board and some pieces. As everything is made by hand in my home workshop, it will take some time yet before I am finished. However, already it is possible to see how stunning this set is going to be when complete. The remaining pieces are in the making at present and there is still work to do on the board so keep dropping in.
This stunning chess board is made from Kingwood and Elforyn (a high grade Ivory substitute). The contrast between the two materials is amazing. I chose Kingwood because of its earthy colours, reflecting the ground hues around the Sky Road, Clifden, Co. Galway, from where the inspiration for the design of this board and the chess set sprang. The Elforyn reflects the whiteness often seen in the sky in these parts. The blue “shadow-line” groove between the playing surface and the border is reflective of the sea between the land and the islands, and the Atlantic beyond. The blue is even carried to the underside; the felt pad under each piece is royal blue, as is the felt beneath the board.
The pieces are made from brass and will be finished shortly. The “black” set will be identified by blue tops to the pieces and the “white” set topped with Elforyn. The brass reflects the golden sunsets often seen in this location during fine weather. Each piece will have a silver-plated base and this, along with the mother of pearl inlays that mark each player’s side of the board, is indicative of the silver glimmer off the sun-reflected sea.
Simple, clean lines give the chessboard a contemporary look with little unnecessary adornment. This is beauty at its purest. I even opted to make the mitre-splines in Kingwood rather than a contrasting wood as is often done; for this board, less is definitely more.