Creating an Art Chess Set with Purling London

Creating an Art Chess Set with Purling London
Painting a Purling Chess set in World Chess Hall of Fame, Saint Louis. Rex Sinquefield and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield painting the King and Queen. 
Photo courtesy of World Chess Hall of Fame

As part of the Purling London Painted Pieces exhibition at World Chess Hall of Fame, Saint Louis, artist Nette Robinson led a session, in which invited guests got the chance to create their own collaborative chess set!

Nette Robinson, one of the Purling artists who has created numerous chess sets, explained how to approach the task, gave helpful suggestions and tips, and answered individual questions as the group painted their pieces. The theme was “Warm and Cool colours” with each side of the room supplied with appropriate paints. Strict instructions were given that no swapping of paints between the tables was allowed! This would ensure that both sides of the chess set would be different and thus, playable!

Amongst the guests painting a chess piece were Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley, WGM Jennifer Shahade as well as founders of the World Chess Hall of Fame Rex Sinquefield and his wife Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield, who painted the King and Queen!

Table of people painting chess pieces
The “Cool Colours” participants working on their chess pieces. Photo courtesy of World Chess Hall of Fame

There were some fabulous, unique pieces created, including Maurice Ashley’s Queen, which, owing to the flaming torch, was inspired by the Statue of Liberty. Chief Curator at World Chess Hall of Fame, Shannon Bailey produced a beautiful opposing queen, which was snow-white with blue and cool colour polka dots!

In fact, every single person painted their own one-of-a-kind chess piece. Once all the pieces were completed, artist Nette Robinson took them back to the UK and painted a special chess board in order to bring everything together to make a stunning and truly unique chess set!

Art workshop with people painting Purling London chess pieces
Nette Robinson leading the session
Photo courtesy of World Chess Hall of Fame
white chess piece being painted gold at Purling London workshop
A “Warm Colour” participant painting her pawn.
Photo courtesy of World Chess Hall of Fame
Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley at the Paint a Chess Set evening
Grandmasters Yasser Seirawan and Maurice Ashley at the Paint a Chess Set evening. Photo courtesy of World Chess Hall of Fame
A child painting a Purling London chess pieces
Fabian Shahade and Maurice Ashley painting. Photo courtesy of World Chess Hall of Fame

Here is the finished World Chess Hall of Fame Art Chess set, entitled “Exploration Blend”, in reference to the exploring of the theme of cool and warm and the bringing together all the individual pieces. We hope you will agree that this set is a beautiful testament to teamwork and a precious addition to the World Chess Hall of Fame collection!

If you are interested in Purling London hosting a special afternoon or evening such as this please get in touch via our contact form.  

This would be particularly interesting for schools, corporate team building or parties – and we would welcome your choice of theme or colour palette, or we can provide inspiration.

We supply a prepared set of hand-carved wooden chess pieces, a 2-3 hour professional artist led session and expert lacquering to deliver to you a memorable experience and a very personal one-off Art Chess set to keep!

Colourful art chess set
“Exploration Blend” The finished Art Chess set from World Chess Hall of Fame event

Painted chess set, one side in shades of blue, the other in shades of red and orange
“Exploration Blend” The finished Art Chess set from World Chess Hall of Fame event, with painted board by Nette Robinson.

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