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Design and Manufacturing of chess sets

  • #1

    This topic was brough up a diferent topic. I pointed out that it is enough of highjaking that topic to talk about this and I made an open invitation to whoever want to keep talking about this to create a new topic so we keep the forum organize.

    As I see other members of the forum want to keep talking offtopic there I have decide to create the new topic myself.

    First I want to make clear this is not about any particular company. I have talked on this forums before about House Of Stauton, ChessBazaar and Recently NOJ.

    About The Dubrovnik set, I am going to say this rigth away: From some time now I have being coming to the idea that desing wise it is not really that great. I am not questioning the beauty of it, though.

    About manufacturing. Lest start with one simple affirmation:

    "No mater how perfect a production line seams to be, there is alway oportunity for improvement."

    Do we agree with this afirmation or there is any objection to it?

  • #2

    Actually we need to have a more basic point made.

    Does the person talking about the product have it in his possession to be able to actually examine that product in regards to quality?

    And if he is comparing that product to others does he also have the others in his possession?

    You see the goal of all this is the product purchased.  The manufacturing process is important in that it must contain aspects and actions that will consistently produce that quality of a product.

  • #3

    Sorry no sure what you are talking about... Are you asking me if I own a chess sets factory? the answer is no.

  • #4
    htdavidht wrote:

    About manufacturing. Lest start with one simple affirmation:

    "No mater how perfect a production line seams to be, there is alway oportunity for improvement."

    Do we agree with this afirmation or there is any objection to it?

    I will neither affirm nor object, but I would like to raise something for consideration. 

    Let us say that I am an artist. And I create something. And I am good at it. And letʻs say I do it because I enjoy doing it. I consider my work art. My art brings me pleasure and it brings pleasure to those who appreciate it.

    Now, is there a way to improve my art? Maybe so. But what do you mean by improve?

    What if I like to make automobiles by hand? What if I'm good at it? What if I'm great? And what if people out there like my art of making hand made cars? Is there a way to improve my art? Well, what do you mean? Are you asking if there is a way to make more cars so that I can sell more cars? Of course I could just create a production line. I could make a whole lot of cars on that production line than I could by hand. But what of my art? 

    I could argue that the soul of my art might be stripped away. The emphasis will change from producing a piece of art with my own hands, a piece of art that someone else might enjoy for what it is, to mass producing my art, thus reducing it to a mere product. It might not satisfy my soul as it once did but I would gain monetarily. 

    Which of the two methods would be more satisfying to you, the artist? 

    Sometimes people do things because it makes them feel good. People like rcmacmillan might appreciate the art and be able to afford it, whereas others like UpcountryRain might also appreciate the art, but be on a budget and have to settle for a cheap copy. 

    Which one is right? Which one wrong? Is it even a question of right or wrong?

  • #5

    Since you did not reply to the last posts on the other thread, which YOU were the one to hijack to begin with, I repost my final post here: 

    htdavidht wrote:

    We have talked more than enough about this topic here, wanna keep the talking abou this? lest open a new topic. I prefer to keep this focuse on the 1849 repro sets.

    1 simple clarification, I didnt' say Noj lie about his numbers on pens I say those numbers are thanks to the reputation they made with the chess sets. That is what place them above every other guy with a lathe in their garage. And finaly, you build an L shape device where one of the faces of the stamp (or the template for spray painting) align with one of the faces of the part and the other face of the the L shape device is for marking the wood, this way you don't have to worry about aligning anything, It aligns itself.

    David, you obviously don't read very thoroughly or follow up on posts. I recommended that you look at the Noj.si website more closely. In the "About us" link, this is what the site says:

    Noj Ltd. is family owned company with it's beginnings dated to 1978. We started with a production of wooden games (specially lower-priced chess sets), but found new line of products in 1994 when cooperation with company RUJZ DESIGN started. They  are a world-known company with decorative furniture fittings. 

     In 2004 new opportunity opened - one of the largest world pen supplies company, VIVAPEN developed new line of fountain pens with wooden barrels. We invested in new technologies, which led to a very interestin line of environment-friendly oriented pens.

     All that is now combined with a manual manufacture of wooden chess sets and fountain pens. Yeah, enough reasons for waking up every morning with a big smile! 

    This certainly doesn't sound like he made his reputation on his now high-end chess sets. It sounds as if the wood knob business, at least, predated them going in production on the high end sets. And when you say that you have "problems" with a company, and that you "resent" how he represents his business, you give the lie to the fact that you say you are only concerned with making his operations better.  

  • #6
    htdavidht wrote:

    Sorry no sure what you are talking about... Are you asking me if I own a chess sets factory? the answer is no.

    DAvid, the point Ron is making is that you need to own and be able to compare the sets you are critiqing in order to truly evaluate the quality. Don't be dense and pretend you don't understand.

  • #7
    htdavidht wrote:
    ..."No mater how perfect a production line seams to be, there is alway oportunity for improvement."

    Do we agree with this afirmation or there is any objection to it?

    I agree with that statement to a point. Henry Ford became obsessed with making his production lines more efficient. After a while he found that, despite paying the highest wages in the industry by far, employees kept quitting. They couldn't handle the constant stress of working at peak efficiency. The folks at NOJ make chess sets because they like to. Improving efficiency too much may ruin their enjoyment. That could lead to a loss of quality or even to their dropping out of the chess market altogether. For them it seems to be a family pasttime that also helps pay the bills. I don't think they're interested in wringing every wasted penny out of their production line.

  • #8

    Photos or it didn't happen-Thank you ! Cool

  • #9
    D2_To_D8 wrote:

    Photos or it didn't happen-Thank you ! 

  • #10

    LOL ! CoolSurprisedLaughing

  • #11

    All three Dubrovnik sets look nice to me. I have the Chess Bazaar version & it plays great as far as I am concerned. I just like the design & could care less what others think compared to NOJ or HOS.

  • #12
    9kick9 wrote:

    All three Dubrovnik sets look nice to me. I have the Chess Bazaar version & it plays great as far as I am concerned. I just like the design & could care less what others think compared to NOJ or HOS.

    I have two of the CB Dubrovniks as well as a Noj. They all play just fine.

  • #13

    What a beautiful thread,it is like being in the mind of some higher being while he is busy talking to himself. Most excellent use of language. I applaud you.

  • #14

    Interesting point the one about art.

    We will have to decide first if chess sets are art or design.

    My defininion of art is that it can't be used in a practical way. For example the Yoko Ono chess set. All the pieces are of the same color because there is not 2 armies that confront each other but 1 world of love. If the object was created with the idea of beign used then it is not art, by definition, but design. I think the Dubrovnik is a poor design, after all it was not created by a designner but by an artist.

    The argument that I have to own the product to judge it's design is an argument I don't agree with.Will need an explanation on the why.

    That 1849 topic was being Hightjaked, I didn't di that alone it takes 5 people at least :)

    Looks like they started with cheap chess sets and eventually move to high end ones, the reat is making money on their name... is that it?

  • #15

    Part of my definition of art is that its purpose is to bring beauty to the senses and mind of the beholder. It doesn't matter whether it is functional or nonfunctional.

  • #16
    htdavidht wrote:

    Interesting point the one about art.

    We will have to decide first if chess sets are art or design.

    My defininion of art is that it can't be used in a practical way. For example the Yoko Ono chess set. All the pieces are of the same color because there is not 2 armies that confront each other but 1 world of love. If the object was created with the idea of beign used then it is not art, by definition, but design. I think the Dubrovnik is a poor design, after all it was not created by a designner but by an artist.

    The argument that I have to own the product to judge it's design is an argument I don't agree with.Will need an explanation on the why.

    That 1849 topic was being Hightjaked, I didn't di that alone it takes 5 people at least :)

    Looks like they started with cheap chess sets and eventually move to high end ones, the reat is making money on their name... is that it?

    So you are saying that since the Dubrovnik was designed by an artist, it can't be used in a practical way? Don't make me laugh. Your argument is circular, and therefore invalid. It has been used by many people in the Eastern and Western blocs since 1950 for tournament play, ergo it must be practical. What are your qualifications to judge the quality of the design? I ask you again. You say your specialty is manufacturing, so what do you know about design? Is that what your degree is in? Do you even have a degree? 

    What do you mean, "the rest is making money on their name?" The rest trading on the reputation of the chess sets? NO. Their reputation is largely built on their production work for two large corporations. We've determined that already. See the post above, the part in blue.

    If you think that the Dubrovnik is a poor design, draw up what you think is a good one and let us see it. We'll attempt to keep an open mind. But if you give us the "I'm not a designer but I know poor design when I see it" argument, we'll just laugh at you. 

  • #17

    Thanks for posting this as a separate topic. Production methods are worthy of discussion, and this is a good way to do it.

  • #18

    I agree with you RC.! It seems this guy might be confused with the English language & cannot express himself properly. Its really a non issue he brought up as most Chess Players go with a set design they like anyway.

  • #19

    If you do not have the set in your possession to hold and directly inspect, you cannot give a good critique of the product and what it took to make that product.

    The manner in which things are made does matter.  Making things quickly and not being concerned with the quality does not make a better or more efficient manufacturer.

    So, at this I am going to quit this discussion because David obviously does not know what he is talking about when it comes to making high quality products versus poor quality ones.

    And David, you have taken a posture of attack against Gregor and Noj.  You do not know all the details of their complete business, so once again you are talking about something you do not know.

  • #20

    Gomer_Pyle: It seams like there is not a simple definition of art. Also no a single defininion seams to be suffient to explain what Art is. So we are left with the elements of art, or what we think something must be there in order to be consider as art.

    Your point have 2 main flows. First beauty is subjective, this means something that is beautiful for you can be ugly for the next guy. The other problem is more philosofical. Is it really that beauty is the only valid element of art? I mean there is artist out there that work with controversy more than beauty, I point this out because controvery usually is not pretty. Do you consider art that generates controversy to be art?

    Some people think art should be unique and original, you see, acordenly to this it will be very dificult to claim that a company that make repros of products, that someone else created, is doing art.

    rcmacmillan:

    "So you are saying that since the Dubrovnik was designed by an artist, it can't be used in a practical way?"

    No I am no sayign that. I am saying I have come to the conclussion that the Duv set is poorly designed, regardless of how beautiful it is. It is hard to find an artist who is also good at design.

    "If you think that the Dubrovnik is a poor design, draw up what you think is a good one and let us see it."

    The reason why I think the Duv is a bad design is because when an object is designed it is not about just designing the object, but designing how the object is going to be produced. It is clear that the Duv design is so complicated that only 2 people in the world have being able to make it. This complication makes it a poor design.

    An example of good design should be the Best Chessmen Ever. It is a design inspired on the aestetical elements of the Duv, but with a great deal of improvements, it have fix this problem I just mention above, it also have simplify the apearance so it is less distractive, it have also improve the stability of the pieces and it includes a metalic ring that will guarantee this set will no crack like other sets do.

    This all are improvements over the original Duv Design and make it a much better set, design wise.

    Eyechess:

    "If you do not have the set in your possession to hold and directly inspect, you cannot give a good critique of the product and what it took to make that product."

    Don't agree with this. this is an irreasonable expectation. Have you live in all the countries of the world to know wich one is a good country to live in?  or do you own all the futball teams of the world? or have eat in all the restaurants on the world?...

    "The manner in which things are made does matter.  Making things quickly and not being concerned with the quality does not make a better or more efficient manufacturer."

    Welcome to the industrial revolution. A time where stuff is made of best quality than anything made before and still at a very afordable price.

    "And David, you have taken a posture of attack against Gregor and Noj."

    Have I say before I have nothing againts this guy? and have I say before that saying things can be done better is not an atack?

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