Copywriter Kihm Winship shares:
“Since so much of my life is about reading and writing, I occasionally like to do something with my hands, outside of my head. And since I love chess, but don’t play very well, making chess boards is a satisfying compensation.
“I wanted a green and white board but probably wouldn’t do this again, since all 64 squares had to be sanded and finished individually. I don’t know what I was thinking.
“For the next board, I just let the wood be what it wanted to be.
“I really wanted a stone board, but had no idea how to go about it until I was in an aisle at Lowe’s and saw pre-made backsplashes – stone squares glued to a sheet of plastic mesh – and they had them in slate and marble. All I had to do was peel each square off the mesh, sand off the remaining plastic and glue, and choose 64 favorites. What I didn’t think about, was how much the board would weigh when I was done.
“My next inspiration was to combine two passions – chess and Scrabble – and use Scrabble tiles for the surface. I loved the idea, and hated the result. Oh well.
“Surely one of my most memorable days at ChaseDesign was the day Chris Andrews cleaned out a collection of discontinued Wilsonart Solid Surface samples, perfectly smooth squares in lots of light and dark shades and patterns. The pieces land so softly on this one; it’s like riding in a Cadillac at 20 miles per hour.
“I love wine corks; every one is a little work of art. So I can’t bear to throw them away but really didn’t know what to do with them until I started making chess boards. I culled the best corks from 40 years of drinking and used them for a border.
“My thanks to Mike, Jim and Dan in the shop, without whose help and advice none of these boards would have seen the light of day.”