What’s not to like about this earthy but strangely elegant version of the ancient game of Mancala? First, you’ve got that big white satin ceramic log for a playing board. Formed from a solid 25 pound block of clay, then hollowed out at just the right firmness, it speaks of a magical secret woodland.
Add shiny glass playing stones which magnify the gold floral decals, and you’ve got the best metaphor any Packrat would be delighted to play.
What you have here is a game of Concentration – usually played with a deck of cards – turned into a 3D cubbie full of handbuilt ceramic cups. One side of each cup features a gold bee decal, a tribute to BEE playing cards. The other side features pairs of sgraffito-carved typography symbols called glyphs, with one blank wild cup.
These unique cups are as wonderful to drink from as they are to play with, and filling them with special contents could add to the game’s dynamics.
In case some of the glyphs are unfamiliar to you, here are their names: Ampersand, Asterisk, At Symbol, Dagger, Fleuron, Interrobang, Manicule, Octothorpe, Pointe d’Ironie, Sarc-Mark, Section, Paragraph.
One part Ring Toss, one part Beer Pong, and a bazillion more parts Do-It-Your-Way for the most fun, this fusion game is composed of sixteen different-sized elegantly textured and glazed ceramic sipper cups.
The cups can be arranged in any fashion within the main box. As play progresses and the ringed cups and their smaller boxes are removed, the remaining cups can be rearranged for continued challenges.
The skinny rubber tossing rings are just large enough to ring easily when well-tossed , and just small enough to require a bit of effort.
If you have a cool vintage 1930s oak checkerboard table, what kind of ceramic playing pieces would you make? Why not clay gumwads, and why not chew them yourself for authenticity? Oh, and why not store the pieces not in play on the underside with concealed magnets and metal strips? It certainly makes your American Checkers or Turkish Draughts games more unique and delightful.
This upright pegboard – a former 1970s spool rack found object – and its lovely metal easel support (another found object) together evoked steampunk tendencies for its ceramic playing pieces. What else would do but interesting glazed gears with which to play two very different games, both concerned with making “trains” of them to win?
In both the older Japanese game of Gomoku and the more recent Connect5, the players attempt to both place their gears in rows of a certain length and to block the opponent, but the manner in which play proceeds asks for different strategies in each game.
What games can be played on a 4 x 4 grid? Turns out there are plenty. So when this interesting, maybe-Bakelite, found object with 16 top holes appeared, the challenge was to create fun-to-hold playing pieces. They needed to be roundish, but not perfectly so, with an element of surprise and tactility. The result was outsized glassy smooth pink salt crystals and crinkled dry black peppercorns to play at least two games, one old, one new. Both are easily learned, quick and challenging.
The board and playing pieces of Color Theory consist of 64 glowing colored ceramic tiles in eight different colors, each one represented in the rows and columns, as well as in the eight playing pieces per side. Black and white twisty loops form the tops of the ceramic playing pieces and identify the two sides. All is designed and installed in a wooden found object serving tray.