Puzzle 741 - Creative Art with Tricky Egg

By Custom Puzzle Craft

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Puzzle 741 - Creative Art with Tricky Egg

This puzzle was made for a customer who wanted a plain wooden puzzle cut in my Creative style. I had not cut a puzzle like this before, and I took the opportunity to pull all the stops and really explore the various expressions of my Creative style which have evolved and become more elaborate over time. For comparison look at one of my earliest Creative style puzzles: #54 which is basically a Swirl Curl with some nuances leaning towards Creative.

This puzzle, #741, is full of elaborate cutting. Some of the "in between" pieces may not look that impressive when they are viewed in isolation, but together all of the pieces create a flow, characteristic of the Creative style. While cutting I decided I want to have one "egg" piece in the puzzle, and as things turned out it appeared near one of the corners; I then came up with the idea of trimming the nearby pieces so the egg piece would hang in relative isolation, a trick I knew would make the puzzle more interesting.

As it turned out, the "trick" become more of a trick than I expected! The customer wrote "Yes, the egg was tricky indeed! It wasn't 'til the final move that I realized it was an extra." I then surprised the customer by saying it did fit! Later the customer wrote back "You tricky wizard. You tricked me! It did fit!"

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

July 2, 2007

Monday 9:36 pm - Back to cutting today. The current puzzle, #741, is an "art" puzzle: wood with no picture and being cut in my Creative style - by far my most elaborate style. I have cut Compulsories per customer order (a Compulsory being a 9" by 3" rectangle with five Creative style cuts results in six pieces), but nothing per customer order in Creative style on plain wood at the scale of the current puzzle. I officially categorize my Compulsories as "Art Objects" and don't count them as puzzles, while the current work, which will be around 12" x 12" in size with an irregular border is being counted as a puzzle (#741).

I arrived at my shop in the late morning and mentally prepared myself by cutting a small practice work of six Creative style pieces from the interior section of a small piece of wood. I then worked until late afternoon. I only completed about 30 pieces, a seemingly incredibly slow pace, but actually I did considerable preparation work dividing the board into smaller sections, so the pace will pick up tomorrow. I cut some very nice pieces today. Tomorrow, I'll start early to avoid the heat, as a major heat wave is developing - still cool along the coast but forecast to go to 110 degrees in the interior valleys. We are officially in an "extreme drought".

July 3, 2007

Tuesday 8:12 pm - In a very long day of cutting within a day of being at the shop for more than 10 hours, I completed the Creative style "Art" puzzle, currently untitled. I obviously underestimated how much time it would take to cut this puzzle, my "plain wood large puzzle piece" Creative style puzzles are more elaborate that my "regular" Creative style puzzles with pictures, so I've learned. In the afternoon when I took breaks I had very bad pain in my right elbow when I straightened it out, I'm not sure but could be from sitting for long periods of time with bent elbow over the past month, something to look into, feel a bit better now. The customer for this puzzle is lucky as I now plan to up pricing for this kind of puzzle at a much higher level than "regular" Creative. While cutting is completed, the puzzle is not. The customer wants Tung Oil on the puzzle and I will be applying it to both sides; the back needs to be prepared, this requires inspecting every piece and removing whiskers which sanding missed. I am about one quarter though the inspection process. I plan to complete the post cutting phases tomorrow morning. I will take the rest of the July 4th holiday off. Puzzle will ship on Thursday. Heat wave was a no show.

July 5, 2007

Thursday 5:50 pm - Puzzle #741, Creative Art With Tricky Egg, shipped today. The puzzle has many cool pieces! I'll eventually have more pictures here. Have to prepare for the performance class now. Puzzle work resumes tomorrow.

One of many cool pieces from #741
First picture I ever took with my iPhone!

The two Mourning Doves are back, apparently looking for a place to build a nest. Yesterday one flew in my shop! Today I made a small platform (with puzzle board scrap of course) at a strategic location in front of Mixed Media, out of view of the cell phone tower where that hawk hangs out. I'm curious to see if the doves find it and use it. [Note added in August - see picture at bottom of this page!]

July 19, 2007

Thursday 9:35 pm - For only the second, may the third time in the history of Custom Puzzle Craft has a customer sent me some extra $ because they so appreciated a commissioned work and felt it was underpriced. This time from the customer of Puzzle #741, Creative Art With Tricky Egg. I'll have some additional pictures "soon". She also wrote a neat poem, borrowing from The Who's "Pinball Wizard" rock tune released in 1969 and included in the 1969 rock opera "Tommy". I'll have the poem here "soon".

July 31, 2007

Tuesday 9:05 pm - Here are two pictures of puzzle #741, Creative Art with Tricky Egg. The customer for this puzzle is the customer who sent the poem posted earlier.

Puzzle #741 - Detail - with, I must say, an incredible amount of interesting stuff going on
I manipulated this image in Photoshop to increase the visibility of the cutting lines

Puzzle #741 - The Tricky Egg!
The puzzle was made from plain wood on both sides with an irregular edge

Tuesday 8:47 pm - How many puzzle makers have received a poem from a customer celebrating their puzzle cutting? Here is the poem I mentioned earlier this month:

Puz-zal' Wizard

Sung to "Pinball Wizard" by the Who

Ever since I was a young girl,
I've played the puz-zals' all.
From Soho down to Brighton
I must have played them all.
But I ain't seen nothing like him
In any workshop hall...
That wild and crazy scrollin' man
Sure cuts a mean puz-zal'!

He stands like a statue
Becomes part of the machine.
Feelin' all the fast curves
Always slicing clean.
He guides by intuition
The puz-zal' pieces fall.
That wild and crazy scrollin' man
Sure cuts a mean puz-zal'!

He's a puz-zal' wizard
There's got to be a twist
A puz-zal' wizard
S'got such a supple wrist.

'How do you think he does it? I don't know!
What makes him so good?'

He ain't got no distractions
Don't answer no phones, no mail.
Don't hear the blade a buzzin'
Cuts by sense of smell.
Always has a clean line,
'n' never tilts at all...
That wild and crazy scrollin' man
Sure cuts a mean puz-zal'!

I thought I was
The puz-zal' cuttin' queen
But I just handed
My puz-zal' crown to him.

Even on my usual table
He can cut my best.
His disciples lead him in
And he just does the rest.
He's got crazy cutting fingers
Never seen him fall...
That wild and crazy scrollin' man
Sure cuts a mean puz-zal'!!!!!!

A big thank you, Connie!

The first nest to be built at the world famous Mixed Media Mourning Dove Nesting Station
Two eggs were laid, the chicks hatched, grew up and flew away

Creative Art with Trick Egg
Plain wood - no art attached - the cutting is the art!
Date Completed
July 3, 2007
About 12 1/2" by 12 1/2"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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