New from The Art of Goban

A serious sapele wood goban with natural pebbles.

The latest offering in our Art of Goban store on Etsy, finally completed after months of patient making, follows the successful sale of our largest goban to a client in Beijing.

Dragan’s passion for the game of go was born when he first started playing in Oxford Go Club, having moved to England from Yugoslavia in the 1970s.  By the ‘80s, Dragan was making his own boards, using natural pebbles for stones because he and other players enjoyed the feel and the weight, and the connection to the ancient origins of the game.

In 2020, we acquired some sapele wood, and Penny’s father (a 79-year old boatbuilder who has just launched a 15-metre wooden yacht) constructed this large wooden board, gluing and screwing two layers together to keep the board stiff.   We then engraved the lines with a router, and hand-painted them gold to make them stand out.  

We have spent many happy hours on the beaches of south west England, slowly selecting individual pebbles of the right size, form and smoothness.  We then painted them to emphasise the distinction between dark and light, and varnished them with multiple coats of professional yacht varnish to enhance the depth of lustre. Each board is unique, and each stone is unique too.  This latest board is the only one we have made this size, so the owner can be sure of having a one-off, and a completely original, collectable piece.

Penny designed and sewed the large, drawstring bags, making them seamless to help support the weight of the stones.  In addition, they are reversible – all you need to do is remove the cord, turn the bag inside out and re-thread the cord so the ties are on the outside.  The bags can be used instead of bowls to hold the stones.

We are excited to see what part of the world this new creation lands in!

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