Main Project Plans and Inspirations – Chess Board

For my main project, I am thinking about making a chess board with a drawer to hold set the game pieces. Throughout this course, I have been trying to expand my personal arts and crafts into functional woodworked crafts

Because my mother collected antiques, most of the furniture in the home was reclaimed and restored to former glory. Present day, I see my mothers influence in the wood frames in my room and the antique game board that hangs on my wall.

I chose to continue this woodworking craft by pursuing a chess board. The influence behind this aspect is in my father as he is highly active on  When I am home and we play together, he often complains about the cheap and tacky aesthetic of his current chess board. To replace his target board with something that reflects my personal aesthetic, I will woodwork and burn a chess board. This way, we have something that brings us together.

Pushing myself creatively, I want to weave in an art nouveau feel to the wood burned aspects of the project. Because the board will have a dynamic drawer, there will be large sides perfect for illustration. I thought it could be neat to take inspirations from art nouveau portraits to personify the game pieces in a feminine way.

I plan to do this by buying or reusing one large 2×6 board. Splicing and rejoining, this is a cheap technique to get different grain patterns in the squares while still having enough wood for the rest of teh board. If I do it correctly, this process will not read as cheap despite the lower quality of wood. The reason I anticipate on needing so much would ids because I would like to make a drawer in the chess board as this is something my dad mentioned he would like. If time permits, I would also like to do dove tail joints at the corners of the box that makes up the drawer housing. I think this overlap in grain and possibly stain at the joints would compliment the contrast in the game board very nicely.

I hope that for this project I can meet all of my expectations of my art without going outside the scope of this class.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Travis Mulford
    May 7, 2024 10:07 pm

    Hi Riley,
    This is a great idea, and I look forward to seeing the final product. My question is what parts of the board are you planning on burning? Will it be on the played area itself, or on the sides of the board? I think some designs in the middle of the squares could be a very cool addition.

  • Sarah Pepper
    May 7, 2024 1:02 pm

    Hello Riley! I think this project idea is fantastic, and I love how you are modeling it based on an aesthetic that you know your dad will appreciate. Have you thought about allowing the chess board to fold for easy transport?


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