Puzzle 26 - Blue Bottle, Venice, Italy

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Puzzle #26 - Blue Bottle, Venice, Italy
Copyright Michael Seewald, 1997

This puzzle features a superb photograph by internationally recognized photographer, Michael Seewald

Michael writes: "Most visitors to galleries that show my work are impressed by the artwork's painterly qualities. At first offended by statements that my photos actually looked like paintings, photographer Theo Bazdorf, also a sponsor of mine, straightened me out. "They are 'perfect', like paintings. Most photographers accidentally show lots of distracting elements, focusing on interesting parts, oblivious to those that aren't." So now I take it to be a compliment. I'd been saying 'but mine are so much sharper than paintings', but like Ansel Adams said, "there is nothing worse than a sharp photograph of a fuzzy idea". Probably one of the reasons my work even wins awards over many paintings in competitions worldwide is sharp ideas!

The photograph is a time-lapsed photo, causing the water movement in the canal to blur to a single beautiful milky greenish-blue color. The composition of the photograph with the reddish hue in the upper left, the warm colors of the chairs, the excellent blue bottle, the yellow light in the one window, many things come together to make this photograph special.

This puzzle is also special as I tried a new cutting style. Similar to Swirl Curl with some differences. Many curls do not close in as far as they do in Swirl Curl, thus they tend to define knobs. I call this cutting style Open Curl. Another feature of this style is that many of the knobs are stylistically lopsided (elongated), resulting in more of an oval or bean shaped knob (see detail picture, below). As this is my first puzzle in this style, I was pleased with how rapidly I was able to develop a consistency, resulting in an excellent puzzle.

Most of the edges are Indirectly Interlocking with a few direct interlocks. I pretty much stayed away from figurals as I wanted to concentrate on the cutting style. There is one "Treat Piece", the blue bottle is a single piece. There is one other innovation in this puzzle. There is one Multi-Piece Figural, my first. I decided that the upper portion of the column which is quite prominent in the puzzle "needed" something. So I designed a 6 piece centipede type bug and "built" one there. Looking at the puzzle, it is very well hidden.

This puzzle is currently scheduled to go on eBay Auction on Friday, July 7th, 2000 between 5 and 6 pm Pacific Time.

Significant milestones

A Multi-Piece Centipede Figural, Treat Piece and Open Curl pieces from Puzzle #26

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

June 20, 2000

Late evening - Spent two sustained sessions cutting #26, "Blue Bottle", a fabulous photograph Michael Seewald. About 3/4 done. The cutting style is new for me, the best name I can come up for it is "water beans", but really it is more of a scroll cut (the "water" part), but with some lopsided knobs (the "beans" part) with a hint of swirl. Yet another thing to write up - I like the style enough to make it an official Custom Puzzle Craft style.

This piece from #25 launched this style: the "bean" indentation on the left side is a bit fatter in #26.
In a true "scroll" style the voids and solid spaces have the same general width

Also, in Blue Bottle, I cut a six piece "swirl curl centipede" figural, but the centipede blends in so well with the rest of the puzzle it isn't really noticeable, I'll probably point it out when the puzzle is done. Other than the blue bottle which is cut out as a "treat piece" there is no line cutting and no other figurals.

June 21, 2000

Afternoon - Finished Puzzle #26 - Michael Seewald's "Blue Bottle, Venice Italy" - 285 pieces, mostly indirect interlocking edges. I'm very pleased with the way my new "water beans" cutting style came out. This puzzle is as good as my best.

I was experimenting with a cutting style I've seen in some other
puzzles. Still need a bit of tweaking to get the style right. Not offering it at this time.

Blue Bottle, Venice Italy
Michael Seewald
Date Completed
June 21, 2000
12 3/4" wide by 12 3/4" high
Cutting Style
Open Curl
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting
None besides the Treat Piece
6 piece Centipede
Treat Piece
The Blue Bottle is a single piece

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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