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There is a story in my head about a man named Jeromy Pettigru. I've made up a whole environment for him that I will make in miniature. Of course I must start in the middle with this project. He lives in England in the year 1795 and owns a saddlery shop where he specializes in items for the fox hunter. Anyway, he is a chess player and so needs a chess set. After researching, I decided on an 18th century set (originally made in bone) that is described as the "tulip" design. I have never turned anything before or used a lathe, but have been practicing with my husband's metal lathe. I tried turning aluminum but could not get the shapes I wanted. Then tried acrylic rod. That went pretty well. Then went to wood dowels which I liked the best since I could use small files instead of gouges to produce shapes. After the basic shape was made an Xacto knife was used to carve details. A two part silicon putty mold material was used to make molds of the wood turnings. Mixed up a bone color from polymer clay - translucent, white and a little yellow. The pieces shown on the chess table are the finished castings. Still some carving to do. The intention is to get the pieces to a silicon mold where I can cast a whole set in resin. However, I DO like the look the polymer clay gives.
The idea to make my own 18th century chess set came first. But there has to be a game table even before the chess set. This is the second piece of furniture I've made and got to practice cabriole legs, mini wood carving and marquetry for the first time. The basic pattern came out of The Scale Cabinetmaker Magazine Vol. 12 #4 and I added the chess board top. The woods are walnut, white oak and a light colored wood with little grain that was in the wood scrap box, probably basswood.