Chess board with Maple and Sapele squares offset with thin Cherry lines and framed with a Walnut border. Pieces are turned by hand from Maple and Ebonized Maple, with weighted and felted bottoms.
If you play chess, you know how important it is for the pieces to feel “right” in your hand, and you love the satisfaction of moving a well-balanced, solidly weighted felt-lined piece onto a new square. With a fine chess set, it can feel lovely to slide an opposing piece off a square as you capture it. In tournament play, the way the pieces fit in your hand is not just aesthetic but can make a difference in rapid games.
In designing and turning my sets I pay special attention to how the pieces feel, they must fit well in the hand in addition to looking dramatically elegant. I carve the knights with particular care so the shape and detailing (you can even see teeth) enhances the grasp between the fingers. Every piece has a specially formed lead slug hidden in the base, with a beautiful green felt covering so that the pieces feel solid in the hand and balance nicely both as you hold it and as you place or move it on the board. The pieces even sound nice when you make a dramatic or aggressive move.
These videos show Kurt making the chess pieces
Turning a Chess Bishop:
Turning a Chess Pawn: