You usually find stubs of chewing gum on the side of the road and under school desks. But at Adelaide furniture label Studio Mignone, (faux) discarded gum is used to form the pawns on a handmade resin chessboard.

“When I researched, I found there is a bit of a connection with chess and chewing gum,” Studio Mignone co-founder Isabella Wood tells Broadsheet. “Players will often chew gum because it supposedly [gets] all the circulation in your brain going … it’s a concentration thing.”

A quick Google search proves it’s true. Gum is said to help increase focus and alertness, and keep players energised through long matches.

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Much like the brand’s viral candy-coloured Tavolo Morbido coffee tables – a sleek glass top resting on chunky blob-like cubes – the chessboard is playful, sculptural and made entirely by hand, sans computer.

Wood and co-founder Aldo Mignone shape the board and chess pieces using plasticine before casting them into moulds. While the pawns are replaced with chewing gum stubs, the rook, knight, bishop, queen and king resemble their original look – only more chunky and Play-Doh like. Designed to be a limited-edition “artwork for your table”, the chessboards will launch in the second half of this year in small drops of about 20.

There are plenty of colourways to choose from, including a bubblegum pink and red board with blue and cream pieces; a classic black and white combo; and an all-white iteration. You can also enquire about custom colour options.

Wood and Mignone’s bold designs have received much local and international love across social media since the pandemic days. The duo’s Tavolo Morbido table has been spotted in the home of American actress and dancer Maddie Ziegler, across Louis Vuitton stores worldwide and in many influencer digs.

Now, with its experimental chess set, long-time admirers of the brand can get a piece of Studio Mignone (and the associated dopamine hit) without forking out the big bucks.

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