laser cut

Commissions: A Bespoke Backgammon Game With A Contemporary Spin

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Entering a new realm of product this month…. board games. Mark and I have chatted before about making kids toys from plywood such as puzzles and cut out shapes, but until now games for adults hadn’t really been on the cards (excuse the pun!).

Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.

It all started when we met a friendly chap called Chris at Netil Market in London Fields back in April. He spotted our products and was keen to see if we could make his vision of a contemporary backgammon set a reality. With a background in architecture and surveying, Chris sent over some detailed 3D sketches of the board game complete with measurements so we had something solid to work from.

Chris’s sketch

Chris’s sketch

We chatted the design through and made some minor adjustments to the spec based on the thickness of the plywood, then used CAD to sketch up the final drawing ready for laser cutting. Chris selected the colours from some swatches of painted plywood, and we love his final selection of the grey contrasted with the luders green!

Colour options for Chris to choose from

Colour options for Chris to choose from

A CAD of the disc counters

A CAD of the disc counters

The next part was the fun bit, making it. Mark laser cut all of the pieces from plywood and together we sanded off the burnt edges and glued them in several stages for the construction.

Once the frame was constructed, more sanding has to be done to ensure the box was beautifully smooth and that all of the edges alined. I hand-sprayed the colour onto the marquetry pieces using an airbrush and watered down paint, and once dry I applied a layer of varnish before inserting and gluing to the board.

Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.

The round discs ended up taking about a day to make, mostly because there were so many of them and each had to undergo a number of processes from hand-sanding to spraying on colour, and gluing to varnishing. They were really satisfying to make though and look really neat!

Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.

Once the box was fully constructed and all of the marquetry inserted, the next step was to varnish the entire thing, twice. A light sand was done in-between each layer to make sure it has that super smooth finish.

Et voila! Our first ever board game commissioned by Chris.

A big thank you to Chris for giving us the opportunity to make something as unique as this for him. We hope he gets many hours of enjoyment out of playing this game… what a special piece to own.

Here it is in it’s full glory….

Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.
Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.
Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.
Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.
Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.
Bespoke Backgammon Game by Studio Mali.  Made In London.
We were attracted to the Studio Mali stall at Netil Market on a sunny Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago by their simple yet beautifully designed place mats and coasters. We had a chat with delightful Mark who explained a bit about Studio Mali and how they make their designs. We also asked about Commissions. We went home and pondered and discussed and got in touch with Mark by email and that was the birth of a bespoke Backgammon set. We collected the Backgammon set and the placemats and coasters from Mark and Ali a couple of weeks later and they are even more beautiful than we could have hoped for. It is such a joy to have things in your home which are beautiful and useful and made with such love and passion. Thank you Mark and Ali so much for making and designing these oh so special pieces for us. We feel some more Commissions coming on!
— Chris and Julie Ttoffali

If there’s something that you would like us to work on, a bespoke piece that you can’t find elsewhere, then why not get in contact. Whether it’s a piece of furniture, an item of jewellery or something special for your home, we may be able to make your dream a reality. Just send us an email on studiomalihey@gmail.com with some information about your project and we will get back to you shortly.

You can also check out our commissions page to see what else we’ve been working on….


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Commissions - A Bespoke Backgammon Game With A Contemporary Spin
 

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Events: Studio Mali At Urban Makers East Market In Old Spitalfields

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Yesterday was our first ever market with our new range of Studio Mali products, and what a jolly good one it was!

There was a last minute slot available at the Urban Maker East craft market held at Old Spitalfields London, so we quickly got our make on to ensure we actually had some stock for the stall. We had 10 days to make 3 Arshan Side Tables, 18 Ebony Necklaces, 8 Ishrim Wall Hangings and some greetings cards, and we already had 50 organic and carbon neutral T-shirts that we’d had printed.

Our hand-made Ebony Necklaces displayed in their gift boxes, £55.

Our hand-made Ebony Necklaces displayed in their gift boxes, £55.

We really enjoyed the week building up to it, until three days before the market when our laser cutter decided to break. Talk about timing! It was making some horrendous noises as it moved down the X and Y axis, so we had to accept bad luck and shut it down. It was going to be 10 days until an engineer could come out to fix it, so we had to just take what we’d already made and hope that we weren’t going to end up with an empty stall. Well, that would have been an amazing achievement on our first market so we wouldn’t have been too sad about it!

 
Carnival T-shirts ready for sale. Made from organic cotton, and made in carbon neutral factories powered by 70% wind power. £30 each.

Carnival T-shirts ready for sale. Made from organic cotton, and made in carbon neutral factories powered by 70% wind power. £30 each.

 

The market was really well organised, and each maker had a 2m X 2m stall that they could either layout into a tabletop format or into a walk in configuration. We opted for the open one, giving us a bit more space to display our products. In hindsight I think the table top option would have been better for us, giving the customer a bit more confidence to come over to the stall.

 
Handmade Arshan Side Tables, £165 each.

Handmade Arshan Side Tables, £165 each.

 

We met some lovely makers; there was Catherine from Sargasso Trading Co. who makes beautiful hand-made cosmetics using all natural ingredients and Jemima from One Time Design who specialises in hanging textiles made from banana palm fibre. There was such a community feel at this craft market and I got the feeling that everyone really wants to help one another. Because everyone is selling such different crafts, it never felt like there was competition as such. And if someone sells something, then you are genuinely only happy for them because they have worked so hard to get that sale.

Hand-made Ebony Necklace.

Hand-made Ebony Necklace.

Also none other than Charles Dedman pops his head in for a chat after seeing our instagram feed. A couple of months ago we wrote a piece about his incredible woodwork, you can see it here in our blog post. It was lovely to hear what he’s been up to, and that he’d just visited the London Design Fair for the 3rd time this year in the Old Truman Brewery. He usually shows his work there every year but on this occasion he had a year off.

Mark’s sister is also a permanent stall holder at Old Spitalfields selling silver jewellery, so we had a familiar face nearby to give us some tips! She kept on sending over all of her trading buddies, so we got to meet a few experienced sellers which was helpful.

Carnival Tee’s.

Carnival Tee’s.

Although this wasn’t the best ever day for us with regards to sales, we were so happy to have taken part in our first ever crafts market and it’s all just a big learning curve. A lovely graphic designer travelling from America was our first customer of the day buying one of our Ebony Necklaces and a greetings card, and if you are reading this post then drop us an email because we would love to hear from you again!

Studio Mali at Urban Makers East market, Old Spitalfields 2018
Hand-sprayed greetings cards, inspired by the Khongor Sand Dunes in Mongolia. £3.50 each.

Hand-sprayed greetings cards, inspired by the Khongor Sand Dunes in Mongolia. £3.50 each.

We are keen to try out some different markets over the coming months, and we will keep you posted once we know more. We have our eye on Chatsworth Road in Clapton and Netil Market in London Fields at the moment, so lets see how it develops in the coming weeks.

Thanks also to our friends Si and Jazz for coming down to support us :)

Our first ever shop! Thanks to Urban Makers East for hosting us.

Our first ever shop! Thanks to Urban Makers East for hosting us.

 
Mark & Ali, aka Mali. Slightly chilly but very happy!

Mark & Ali, aka Mali. Slightly chilly but very happy!

 

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Events - Urban Makers East At Old Spitalfields, by Studio Mali
 


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