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Semaphor Oblique

Semaphor Oblique are the product of a collaboration between Derek Welsh Studio and Graphical House.

The very best in materials and artisanship have combined to make something which will have a long and colourful life, to be both treasured and enjoyed.

These beautifully designed and crafted dominos are available in two variations; Semaphor are made from Birch Ply, reversed in laminate, and finished by hand. They are beautifully boxed and packaged with a cotton drawstring bag. Oblique are hand cut and drilled from Douglas Fir, and faced in laminate. The turned edge case has been hand stitched from bridle finished leather with a suede pigskin lining. Both sets have been beautifully shot by Photographer Gordon Burniston and are now available to purchase via the Graphical Shop so why not treat yourself.

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    Hulot
    23rd Nov 2012
    4:36 pm
  1. “So why not treat yourself[?]”

    Oh, I don’t know, what about: for products that are, respectively, £120 and £960, the only care that has been taken with their design has been in the selection of the materials and the craft of their production? Tending to the details like, say, spelling ‘semaphore’ correctly, or including the, essential to those who actually play dominoes, central spin pins have been forgotten or ignored in an attempt to produce another addition to the catalogue of overcosted fetish objects that look ‘designed’.

    Yes, the website is nice, as are the dominoes, apart from their failings as dominoes, but I fail to see where Graphical House’s advertised practice of ‘add[ing] measurable value through design’ is supposed to be.


  2. Daniel
    24th Nov 2012
    7:42 pm
  3. It seems fairly clear that the intended audience for these dominoes is not the serious player who may have concerns about the lack of really quite non-essential spin pins. The value that design adds to these products is through the alternative experiential, tactile and aesthetic opportunities they bring to a set of objects that are to be interacted with and enjoyed in a wide variety of ways.

    The deliberate spelling of the word Semaphor reflects its function as a name rather than a description, the markings are obviously not actual semaphore. This name refers to ideas of graphic representation and communication within very formal and confined structures.

    The pricing reflects the fact that the objects have been designed, handcrafted and packaged by highly skilled individuals whose ability, time and attention to detail is their livelihood.

    The success or failure of an object should be determined through use and experience within context rather than cynical presupposition.


  4. Hulot
    26th Nov 2012
    2:45 pm
  5. Good to see you’ve done your research. Spin pins are essential to randomise European dominoes; which are brought together and shuffled flat on a table; unlike dominoes in the asian tradition which are generally stacked into a woodpile, before the woodpile is shuffled. Historically, pins were skipped by the cheaper manufacturers who would also make dominoes of less well wearing materials, or, if the dominoes were moulded, would often sell dominoes whose weight varied due to bubbles in their interior. Lighter dominoes, when shuffled, tend to move towards the outside of the pool, where someone who is more familiar with that set of dominoes can pick their hand. So, if you intend to play the set of dominoes with other people who are enthusiastic about the game, to the exclusion, perhaps, of a sex life, pins are essential inasmuch as any cultural hallmark that’s traditionally indicative of quality and care is essential.

    But all of that is assuming that these are dominoes to be played with by Serious People, and not items for collectors or for people who will use the dominoes as a display piece; and I should not have reacted with quite as much cynicism and irritated gruffness as I did. That you had the patience to respond is to your credit.


  6. Daniel
    26th Nov 2012
    4:40 pm
  7. It seems the function of spin pins is very much up for debate. Our research tells us that they were originally devised to hold together the two materials combining to make the domino, back in the day this would have most often been ebony and ivory. The fact that they make the domino easier to spin and even out weight differences appears to be coincidental advantage rather than designed function. The reality is its perfectly possible to effectively randomise the dominoes without spin pins which in our opinion makes them non essential.

    These sets have been designed for people who are interested in the alternative approaches to the game, whether they be serious about it or not. We held a Doms night last Thursday in ‘All That is Solid’ here in Glasgow and, based on the feedback, all involved found these dominoes functioned perfectly well and offered an alternative, enjoyable and rewarding experience of the game.

    As a product they may not be everyones cup of tea but that is not their aim.


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