GSA Year 2
As an introduction to precision casting processes in silver and bronze, you will explore lost wax casting by gravity/ vacuum techniques. Carving and modelling in wax will be undertaken (...) You are to produce (...) a carved or modelled three dimensional chess piece using a wax cast block. (...) Many of you may be given a similar or same chess piece, so it is important in this project to think as an individual. When designing you could possibly think about the history of chess or the imagery, hierarchies and concepts that your piece may carry. Think about how your chess piece can be manipulated and abstracted but still carry a clear indication of the piece's role within the game.
I was given a figure of a queen. Personally, I am not a chess player so I have done a research in order to know the movements allowed and the hierarchy of the chess queen. Apparently, the queen is the most powerful figure and has an absolute freedom when it comes to moving it on the board. Later on, I have made a map of thoughts related to the queen - not only in chess, but in general. Queen is powerful, majestic, rich and royal, yet she also has another side. She's feminine and because of that delicate and ornamental. I started to think what has all the above features and I got to ants. Their queen is very special: she is tiny so she looks very fragile, yet she's extremely strong as ants can move the objects not only bigger but also up to 20 times heavier than themselves. The hierarchy in the ants' society is very clearly divided - wings are the royal thing which are obviously there for a practical reason but they are also extremely decorative. Another curiosity is the fact that ants have the biggest brains among all the insects which makes them a good choice for the symbol of a strategic game such as chess.