• bespoke cornish slate chess board with slate chess pieces
  • hand painted pewter chess set made in cornwall

Bespoke Chess Sets

August 2nd, 2019|Tags: |

Bespoke chess sets by Stevens Cornish Slate

Chess is a tactical game said to be around 1500 years old, thought to have originated in China. An easy game to learn but a hard game to master with great players studying for many years. Chess is a game of tactics and invention. A game that invites players to be creative and to out-think your opponent.

Even if you are not an exponent of the game, you’ll know the names of Fischer, Spassky, Kasparov – some of the legends of the great game.

As a keen but sadly not very good player, Pat decided to make some bespoke #chess sets. It was the creative side of the game that led to this decision and these sets are now available.

Hand crafted slate chess Staunton pieces

Firstly we grind up slate chippings to dust and then we mix them with resin and a colour to make them black and white. These are based on the traditional Staunton chess sets that people are most familiar with.

When removed from the moulds, the pieces all have to be hand finished. As these are made individually to order, each set will be unique in its colour variation.

Hand painted pewter chess sets.

Working from a choice of sets, the pewter is hand cast into moulds and then each piece is painted painstakingly by hand. Every detail is considered and these sets take several weeks to complete.

You can be assured that these bespoke chess sets will grace any home. As these are all painted by hand, there will always be slight variations, so your set will never be the same as any other.

Some 60 hours work goes into painting these sets to make sure they are of the highest standard.

Cornish slate chess boards

Available in three sizes, these cornish slate chess boards are all hand made and can be customised in any way the customer chooses. Choose your own theme or put the names of famous players on the board.

Edges can be rolled (like a kitchen worktop) or square cut and polished.

A drawing showing how your finished chess board will look is supplied for your approval.

View our cornish slate chess boards here

Contact us to discuss your very own Cornish Slate chess board or hand made pewter chess set.


*The chess boards are shipped on a pallet for safety. This costs £60 but can be collected from our workshop.

  • visit stevens cornish slate workshop

Visit the Stevens Cornish Slate workshop

July 30th, 2019|Tags: , |

Visit the Stevens Cornish Slate Workshop

With so many online slate house sign shops, why not come and see where yours will be made. Visit the Stevens Cornish Slate workshop. Cornish slate is a very tactile product and it can be far too easy not to consider this when buying online.

If you are local or on holiday in Cornwall and you are thinking about a #CornishSlate #HouseSign, then call us up on 07854-953088 and arrange to come and see us.

Select your own piece of slate.

When you visit the Stevens Cornish Slate workshop we can discuss the sign you want, the size, designs, text and paint options available. You will be able to make a real personal connection with your sign. I will show you the varying types of slate and discuss exactly how your sign will be produced. You may well be able to choose your very own piece of slate.

About the Stevens Cornish Slate workshop

The Stevens Cornish Slate workshop is not some grand affair but it is kitted out with all the equipment necessary to cut, polish, letter and finish your sign.

The workshop is located at the rear of Firecrest in Wilson Way, Pool, about 200 yards up from Macsalvors. No matter how busy we are, we always have time for our customers.

Coffee is always in stock too so if you want to have a cup whilst you discuss what you want, then please, just ask.

Calling ahead is essential as the design work is not done at the workshop and we may be out delivering or collecting supplies. So call us first on 07854-953088 to arrange a visit.

Meet the maker

Im a real happy-chappy and happy to spend time with my customers. If you are collecting a finished job then you will receive either a call or an email asking you to arrange a visit to the workshop.

Please do come and see and speak to us. Your sign will mean just that little bit more as you will know exactly where it has come from.

Make an enquiry if you cannot visit us.

If you cannot visit us, we would still like to hear from you. To begin the order process, go to the Slate House Signs page and fill in the form

  • stevens cornish slate house signs

Check the small print!

July 22nd, 2019|Tags: , , |

Check the small print!

When you are looking for #CornishSlate and you are looking at other websites, then do please check the small print. It is possible that in the small print you will find that the slate being used for your sign is in fact, imported.

A lot of websites use 20mm slate and this is a common size for imported slate as it is cut using the metric system. So, if you see 20mm slate, ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT – your slate may well not be from Cornwall, let alone be Cornish slate.

To Stevens Cornish Slate, it’s important that our customers know the source of the product we use. We do not trade on the fact that we make things in Cornwall but the product we use is not Cornish.

We use only Cornish Slate

Stevens Cornish Slate is called this for a reason. We only use slate sourced from the Delabole quarry for all of our house signs. We guarantee that your sign will be made with Cornish slate.

To us, it is very important that the customer clearly sees what the product they are buying is. We do not need to hide the origin of our slate in the small print.

Buy Stevens. Buy Cornish. No small print to worry about

#stevenscornishslate #slatehousesigns


  • pat ready to go on the london to brighton bike ride

London to Brighton

July 6th, 2019|Tags: , |

London to Brighton 2019 cycle ride.

On June the 14th 2019, Pat took part in the #LondontoBrighton cycle ride. The ride is 55 miles from Clapham to Brighton, to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

Outside of work, Pat is a keen cyclist, a sport he took up after a health scare when he found himself staring Type 2 Diabetes in the face. In 2017 Pat did his first charity ride, 6 hours and 75 miles to raise awareness and many for DiabetesUK

In 2018, he and three friends decided that a good motivational event would be this iconic bike ride and hopefully raise a few pounds for a great cause.

The team of 4, Team Mr Men and Lass, spent many hours riding and training to be fit enough to ride. Pat completed a couple of other sporting events before, riding 47 miles around Lands End and 47 miles around the North Cornish coast, both charity rides.

The Big Day

“We got up at 3am to get ourselves ready for the 55 mile drive from Brighton to Clapham. An early breakfast of porridge before we set off gives our bodies vital fuel to start the day.

We joined the hundreds already there who were starting at 7.00 am with us. approximately 18,000 people had registered to ride on all kinds of cycles. We were keen and a bit nervous but once we had been waved away, we settled into the ride.

The traditional British weather played its part, starting cold and dry before turning wet, well, very wet and colder still. All you can do is press on and try to keep warm, stopping as little as you can to avoid muscle cramps from the cold.

The group had split into two pairs as we pushed on toward the famous Ditchling Beacon, a steep hill almost a mile long that challenges most cyclists. This is where the training on Cornish roads and hills comes into play and Pat rode the Beacon in a very respectable time. The lashing rain had by now stopped and the ride into Brighton was great with many lining the streets to wave and cheer us back.

Riding across the finishing line was a great feeling. We collected our medals and waited for the second pair. When they crossed the line we did celebrate as it was a good achievement. Team Mr Men and Lass raised over £1300 for the BHF. It was a great event and Pat has signed up for next year, so Team Mr Men will ride again”.

Cycling is a great way to get yourself fit and healthy. It is great for your mental health too as it can give you time on your own to escape what surrounds you for a couple of hours.

Pat is a qualified #BritishCycling Ride Leader and rides with a local cycle club.

“I’m fitter and healthier than I was years ago and having goals and targets helps me focus on things both in work and out of it”.

British Cycling

British Heart Foundation

Diabetes UK

  • cornish slate with colour variations.

Slate is a natural product

July 3rd, 2019|

Slate is a natural product – not a man made one.

When you choose to work with or buy a natural product, you are getting something made by nature, chemistry or geology. It is one of the reasons we choose to work with Cornish slate. No two pieces will ever be the same.

If you have a piece 300×300 mm and cut it into 4 individual pieces, they will all likely turn out differently when they are cleaned and polished.

Colour variations.

Whilst the slate is predominantly grey, you get various shades when the slate is polished up. Polishing the slate means ‘smoothing the surface’ with coarse to fine diamond polishing pads. The finer the pad, the nicer the finish and with slate, the finer you go, the ‘shinier’ it gets. Quartz and other minerals tend to be a bit ‘shinier’ than the surrounding slate too.


As part of the geological process when the slate is formed, the compressed mud’ (which becomes slate), has materials of different hardness that form within it. Quartz is much harder than the surrounding slate and when the lettering is sand blasted, the quartz wears at a much slower rate. This will leave lines or maybe bumps in the lettering.

There is nothing to worry about.

These lines or pieces of quartz are not faults or cracks and will not affect the sign in any adverse way. In fact, what it does show, is that you have a product created by nature – not man. Slate is a layered product so splits occur along the ‘grain’, rather like wood. If a piece cracks or splits during the sign making process, then it is discarded. It goes with the job. Should a sign ever split along a line of quartz, we will replace it free of charge.

Sandblasting our lettering.

Sandblasting is a form of erosion. You will see the effects of erosion wherever you look along any coastline – or valley. Rock wears at different rates and a jagged rock face is the result of softer rock eroding faster than harder rock around it. Sandblasting is a super fast form of erosion so the same results apply. The soft slate erodes faster than any hard material. This can leave lines or small bumps. This is perfectly normal.

Why do we sand blast our lettering?

Sandblasting allows us to be very flexible creative and also very precise when it comes to designing. We can use many hundreds of fonts, mix up fonts and do them at very precise sizes. If you want lettering a set size, then we can do it. This is not achievable with routing! This is why many online sign ordering sites are so restrictive with their offering.

Contact us for more details

I am not a geologist, so if anyone reading this is and can help with some explanations, the drop me a line and I will include it in this post.

  • bespoke cornish slate house sign

What makes us different?

June 28th, 2019|Tags: , |

What makes us different?

What makes us different to all the other sign makers? Any business that wants to attract new customers needs to be different to all of the others in the market place. Stevens ™ Cornish Slate is no different.

We guarantee you will receive Cornish slate.

All of the slate we use is #Cornish slate sourced from the quarry at #Delabole or from trusted reclaim sources for our picture frames and other gift ware items where we use reclaimed slate.

Delabole slate is more expensive than other slates and especially imported slate because there is only one source!

We produce bespoke items.

In our world, there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ sign. All items are made to the specification of the customer. Your sign can be any shape. Any size. The text can be as large or as small as you require. We can add two dimensional designs. Fonts can be mixed and matched.

Signs produced using routers are far too restrictive. You could have 20-30 different fonts on a single sign.

Our customers dictate what we make. Many sign makers will not be able to give you these options. This is what makes Stevens ™ Cornish Slate unique.

Look at the rest and then choose the best. Make your choice Cornish slate. Make your choice Stevens ™ Cornish Slate. Products made right in the heart of West Cornwall.

Visit our HOUSE SIGNS page and complete the form and we will get in touch with you. In approximately two weeks from placing your order, your own sign, made to your very own specification will be with you.