Chess Set

Rawstudio’s unique chess set is deceptively simple in its finished beauty. Each set includes a handcrafted stitched leather board and thirty-two precision cut, individually hand polished metal pieces, stowed inside a suede leather pouch and presented in a carbon blue archival box.

The rawstudio chess set is contemporary and minimal in design aesthetic. Laid out, the chess pieces and board are simple and elegant, the two forms in complete and functional harmony. When putting away, the set transforms itself into two batons of interlocking pieces that fit snuggly around the rolled board, an intriguing second puzzle to explore.

Every chess set is crafted in small editions and individually hand finished in rawstudio by designer Nick Rawcliffe.

travel chess set designed by rawstudio made in England

“This is the piece that other designers approach me saying “Man, I wish I’d thought of that!”. I take that as the highest compliment.” – Nick Rawcliffe

Rawstudio chess set shown with half of the leather board rolled, to demonstrate storage

The rawstudio chess set packs away into a leather rolled pouch for storage or travel

The story behind the design

“My uncle Stan taught me how to play chess when I was a nipper. I’ve still got his old set, pieces carved from wood still safe in a broken wooden box. Collectible games, games to talk about, and designs that transform themselves or reveal games within games, this is what made me create a chess set myself.

We use only leather and stainless steel to make this set. There are no chemicals or paints used to make the ‘black’ pieces, we heat them to 500degrees to oxidise the surface to get a deep bronze, sometimes with flecks of deep blue, each firing creates a slightly different hue.

The pure leather boards again are one material. We use the suede and leather side to differentiate the black/white squares.

We have the chess set with us at every show and meeting at the studio, not only is it a talking point but sometimes we convince people to stay and play a game!”

-Nick Rawcliffe


DimensionsBoard laid flat: 40 x 40 cm (16″ x 16″)
Boxed: 24 x 5 x 10 cm
Materials Heat treated, hand polished, stainless steel pieces made in England.
Leatherwork crafted in Lancashire.

Finished in our studio by us.
CarePieces can be polished with a soft cloth. Do not use anything abrasive.
Suede can be cleaned with a specialist brush.

Entirely made in England.


The Miestand is our first phone and tablet stand, simple, elegant and ergonomically designed without being over-engineered.

Made in the North of England from anodized aluminium the Miestand isis the perfect size for universal function and convenience and fits any phone or tablet, holding it at two angles 12º and 30º from vertical.

The stand works well whether it’s on a coffee table, workbench and your desktop at home, or fold-out aeroplane and train tables when travelling.

Miestands are available in 4 anodised colours: silver, black, bronze and gold. Miestands are available to buy individually and in quantity, we can also produce anodised colours to order.

A golden Miestand, ready and able to hold any smartphone or tablet in a very agreeable position.

“universal function and convenience”

The story behind the design

“Designed and named in honour of the old master Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, ex-director of my old haunt, the Bauhaus, the Miestand is my play on a phone stand version of his most iconic design, the Barcelona chair from 1929. It truly is an amazingly beautiful design that you can see in 40% of TV commercials and 70% of office foyers in any metropolis.

Basically, I designed the Miestand after getting frustrated with phone stands I’d brought in the past for travelling. It’s about the size of a pack of cards and weighs under 30g. It’s small enough so you can take it anywhere, solid enough so you can use it everywhere.

I have one in my bag for travelling, and another on my desk for charging!”

– Nick Rawcliffe

A Miestand can be used to hold a tablet, so that you can use a bluetooth keyboard to type things

“the simplest & most elegant holder for your phone or tablet”

Watch a film or maybe a documentary on your smartphone, whilst flying on a aeroplane, the footprint of the Miestand is tiny so it fits easily on a tray table


Dimensions70x50x25 mm
Materials aluminium