The Cabeza Patata chess set is a mixture of new technology and traditional artisan methods to create something with a unique look and style.
The pieces are modelled in 3D, aiming to reach a point between a simplicity and practicality - the pieces should be recognisable and easy to play the game - and the stylised fun that the characters bring.
The models are then 3D printed in PLA. This allows for a level of detail that would be almost impossible to carve by hand. It also means every character has the same base features that brings a consistency across the set.
After all the pieces were printed we hand painted them, giving each piece a defined character and personality. We use the drybrush method to achieve a more handcrafted finish and disguise the perfection of the 3D print. While the drybrush gives the characters a serious, more traditional finish, the graphical lines pattern painted on top brings back the fun of the set and silliness of the characters.
The board is made from pieces of oak, painted to echo the colours and patterns of the chess pieces, which further add to the feeling of a completely handmade chess set.
The chess set sits in the window of the Espai Patata gallery in Barcelona to be enjoyed by passers by. The more people ask how it was made or are confused by the materials, the more we are pleased to have achieved our aim of created something new and unique mixing different materials and methods.