Introduce us to you and your brand/work.
We have designed a Glasgow-themed chess set, inspired by iconic landmarks around the city of Glasgow. We have designed each piece using 3D CAD (computer-aided design) software, and manufacture them in Glasgow using a new, innovative 3D printing technology that allows us to make them with an incredible level of detail compared to normal 3D printing methods. We use an environmentally friendly, plant-based material to manufacture each piece.
,"We use an environmentally friendly, plant-based material to manufacture each piece. "
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
We are a very new company, and up until now we were mostly prototyping and playing around with form, colours, manufacturing techniques and packaging. We have now streamlined our designs and processes, protected our brand and the visual identity of our chess set, and are looking at scaling up in terms of sales!
What do you consider to be your most popular product?
We only have 1 product at the moment - the Clydeside Chess set! We are looking into creating larger, scaled up models of each chess piece such as the Duke of Wellington or University of Glasgow tower for sale. In the future we intend to expand and maybe create chess sets based on other Scottish cities. Michael intends to run a 3D printing commissioning business on the side, where people can request for something to be 3D printed. Recently for example he has printed models of dogs, films characters, comic book heroes etc for a number of customers.
,"...we intend to expand and maybe create chess sets based on other Scottish cities."
,Tell us a little about a piece you are the proudest of?
We are proud of the entire Clydeside Chess Set - choosing between the pieces would be like trying to choose your favourite child! The Finnieston Crane as the Rook and the Duke of Wellington statue as the Knight seem to be fan favourites from feedback that we have received on the set! Both of us love the University of Glasgow tower as the King too, as that is where we met in 2015 and formed our friendship.
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
We are both keen footballers, and we formed a 5-aside football team at the University of Glasgow, which is the King in the Clydeside Chess Set. We won the league and cup competition 4 years in a row! Football is a good way for us to relax outside of work and running the business.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
We have been in the shop a few times and love the products and designs on show. We particularly love the whole model where the designers are properly supported and receive fair pay for their work. It is definitely a great space where people who have a passion for art and design come to shop, so it is the perfect place to showcase our first product (and hopefully more in the future).
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
Believing in yourself when things aren’t going well! Creating something from nothing can be an incredibly difficult thing to do, and when things aren’t going well, your workspace is a mess, you’ve spent your own money on materials and you feel like it’s not going to work out, the challenge is to keep going!
,"Believe in yourself and be methodical in your approach, and don’t give up when something goes wrong."
How have you spent your time during lockdowns, any new hobbies or passions discovered?
We started working on Clydeside Chess during the 2nd lockdown! We bought 3D printers and began prototyping, and for a few months it was very difficult. Just recently we are beginning to reap the rewards for our hard work and dedication throughout January-July, including when we were in lockdown.
How do you think the pandemic will affect shopping habits and the retail industry moving forward?
Unfortunately, online shopping seems to now be taking precedence over shopping in-store. This brings a lot of challenges, but also exciting opportunities for designers like us. We have both done some work with Augmented and Virtual Reality in the past, and we believe that over the next 5-10 years this will have a huge part to play with regards to shopping habits. Who knows, maybe some time in the future people will be able to play with holograms of our chess pieces from the comfort of their own home or place the entire set on their kitchen table using augmented reality, before choosing to buy one!
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
We hope to meet other likeminded artists and creators, and gain exposure to people who appreciate our Clydeside Chess set. Perhaps one day we can team up with someone who is affiliated with the SDX and create a joint product? Who knows.
,If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Don’t give up. The first time you try something new it will not work out the way you want it to. You should see some of the first 3D prints we did. Believe in yourself and be methodical in your approach, and don’t give up when something goes wrong. Like anything in life it’s all about persistence. The feeling when you make your first sale will be worth it! And if it doesn’t work out, you will have gained a lot of valuable experience anyway.
Tell us your favourite inspirational quote or best advice YOU were given.
It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission!
Thank you to Alex and Michael of Clydeside Chess for participating in our blog. You can find their Glasgow themed chess set out our Buchanan Galleries shop in Glasgow