IN A NUTSHELL, WHAT IS PURLING LONDON ?
Purling brings to life classic games with a vibrancy underpinned with tradition and quality. Our game sets utilise the finest materials and craftsmanship from across the globe, with a hand-finishing process undertaken in London to create beautiful and playable games which bring people together. Our ethos of “make time to play” is all about the need to take time for oneself, for each other and for no reason at all; to step outside of the usual routine and make time to lose oneself, alone or in the company of others, in a game.
YOU ARE RENOWNED FOR YOUR EXQUISITE ART CHESS SETS – DO YOU HAVE A DREAM ARTIST YOU WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH?
From history it would be Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, Hiroshige and, if we’re talking about contemporary artists, Kenya Hara, Olafur Eliasson and Goldie.
AND WHO FROM HISTORY WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO PLAY A GAME OF CHESS WITH?
Queen Victoria, who apparently found chess ‘the greatest solace in her widowhood’; early Italian chess master Giovanni Leonardo di Bona; Polish-British intelligence officer Christine Granville; Noël Coward – and James Bond!
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE KEY PRODUCT THAT HAS BEEN SELECTED FOR THE MAKERS’ MARKET AT THE ROYAL EXCHANGE?
The 10th Anniversary Purling Signature Set. We are introducing our signature sets this year to mark our 10th anniversary and the luscious Purling purple is centre stage in this!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE COMMISSION TO DATE?
Matching colours of pieces in our Bold range is always a pleasure. We have matched the colour of a first car and a favourite blouse from a first date, two opposing school football teams and the favourite blues of our global chess ambassador (Zsóka Gaál). Something requested more often than we imagined are colours to complement and match the interior design choices of clients, at home and in their holiday homes. This year, at the request of customers, we are launching both Purling Signature colours and a range of seasonal colours to allow different sets to be used on the boards depending on mood, taste, time of year etc. Our newly launched website has sets of pieces available without the board for the first time, meaning you can collect colours or commission something special for the board you might already have.
WHY DO YOU THINK TRADITIONAL PARLOUR GAMES SUCH AS CHESS ARE ENDURINGLY POPULAR, EVEN IN THE DIGITAL AGE?
Board games give us the opportunity to spend quality time with people, to put away mobile phones, turn off the TV, be present and focused on the game and the opponent/s. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family, to be in the here and now and to learn from each other and enjoy something a little different from the day-to-day.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT PEOPLE CAN DO TO SUPPORT INDEPENDENT BRITISH CRAFT?
Buy from smaller brands, check out independent concept stores, support local craft and design fairs and, if you can’t see something you want, then ask. Our new Signature range and seasonal colours came from customer feedback and requests, and we have also recently commissioned handmade British chess and backgammon boards as part of our commitment on sustainability and working with fellow SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in the UK.
- Favourite film: Dead Poets Society
- Last book you read: Mama’s Boy by Dustin Lance Black – an inspiring and amazing book (it will make an astonishing film when hopefully he makes it!)
- Podcast recommendations: The Perpetual Chess Podcast, Let’s Talk About Chess, Decoder Ring, Table Manners
- If you could own one piece of art (regardless of price), what would it be? Michelangelo’s David
- Favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe: Pretty much anything my husband has picked – usually YMC, Folk and my new favourite British brand, Peregrine
- Music album that left a lasting impression: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory by Oasis
- Go-to snack: cheese
- One Instagram account you recommend following: it has to be @purlingltd of course!
Purling London is taking part in The Makers’ Market at The Royal Exchange, from 10-13 May. The company will be hosting an exclusive chess painting masterclass on Tuesday 10 May between 12pm-2pm. Click here to find out more and reserve your place.