Puzzle 883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs

By Custom Puzzle Craft

Home About Cutting Styles Journal Custom Puzzle Log Gallery Puzzle Log 100 Puzzles Project Annual Auctions
Puzzle 873 GR_Compulsory_8
Annual Auction Puzzle #2 2012 - Previous - Next

Puzzle 883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

July 6, 2012

Friday 6:35 PM - Today I started working on the second annual eBay auction puzzle, puzzle #883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs. Very hard to find a good sized piece of wood that is beautiful on both sides, eventually found a big enough area on one of my plywood sheets and prepared the board. I then placed guides for the three Tricky Eggs (not true templates as I am using them for general not precise guidance) and did some initial cutting. The board is now cut into quarter sections and in the process I cut just three pieces (fancy Creative pieces). I've since decided the "guidance eggs" are too large and will redo them before resuming cutting tomorrow. I plan to do a substantial amount of cutting this weekend. As there are to be about 260 pieces in this puzzle and I rarely can do 100 Creative pieces in a day, cutting may extend into Monday. Also I need to do the free-form Creative style border.

Approaching but bypassing a Tricky Egg location

Puzzle 883 status as of July 6, 2012

July 7, 2012

Saturday 10:58 PM - Today I was at the shop for over six hours working on puzzle #883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs. I cut just 37 pieces!!! Yet I was cutting most of the time! Cutting the irregular border took 2-3 hours, then subdividing the board, doing the three Tricky Eggs and a few fancy pieces took the rest of the time. Obviously I not going to finish the puzzle tomorrow although I do plan to put in a substantial day of work. The auction will now likely take place Tuesday or Wednesday. I now plan for the auction to be a five day auction instead of a seven day auction so I can have plenty of time to do the post-auction accounting and get the puzzle shipped before leaving for the Puzzle Parley. I still should have enough time to make two or three "Creative Showcase" puzzles to sell at the Parley.

I've received work from my Internet Service Provider that this website has been moved from their "oldest" server to their "newest" server! If anyone has problem please contact me. So far everything appears to be OK.

July 8, 2012

Sunday 3:29 PM - Today I worked for about five hours on puzzle #883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs. The pace picked up as I was able to concentrate on "piece work". Today I cut about 93 pieces bringing the count to about 133, or about half the projected total of 260-265 pieces. I corrected The Puzzle Queue as that said this puzzle was to have around 300 pieces. Cutting is going well - yesterday I was wondering if this puzzle, the sixth and last puzzle of the Tricky Eggs series, was going to be "good enough". Now that I have about half of the puzzle done, I can say the puzzle does look quite good. So far no voids.

Puzzle #883 status as of July 8, 2012
That's a "Tricky Egg" upper left. There will be two more Tricky Eggs in the right half of the puzzle.

I currently expect to complete the Tricky Eggs puzzle on Tuesday and launch the auction on Wednesday as a five day auction. Later in the week I expect to begin work on three more of the 2012 Pagey Elliot Jigsaw Puzzle Cutter Exchange puzzles - these will be offered for sale during the "Puzzle Sales" period, not for exchange as I've already made the Exchange puzzles. I've now added these three puzzles to the Puzzle Queue. After the Puzzle Parley there will be a dramatic drop off in the pace of my puzzle work as I will go to making about one puzzle per month until the Puzzle Queue is completed.

July 9, 2012

Monday 11:43 PM - In a long intense day of work I completed puzzle #883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs! At long last, the Tricky Eggs series has been completed! I still have to apply a couple coats of tung oil on the back, other than that, the puzzle is done. I was at the shop for about 10 hours, and along with other things that needed to get done, today has been a very long day. I need to "stand back" from the work, to judge the puzzle, but I think it is a worthy member of the Tricky Eggs series.

Tomorrow will be focused on finishing the tung oil, taking photos, counting pieces, getting ready for and then launching the auction, and including a nice presentation of the Tricky Eggs series. This will very likely be the last "plain wood" jigsaw puzzle I'll ever auction on eBay (future ones, if any, will be painted).

I've been very busy this past month working on puzzles, without much of a break. I'm going to continue the busy pace to do the three additional 2012 Pagey Elliott Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange puzzles (for sale at the Parley, not exchange), then I'll be taking a puzzle cutting break which will last into late July, possibly August. I have not heard from the next two customers recently. After the three small Puzzle Exchange puzzles I'll be making later this week, the pace will slow dramatically for the remainder of the year.

Puzzle 883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs.
Preliminary picture, before Tung Oil application - I will have higher rez pictures later

July 10, 2012

Tuesday 3:35 PM - The eBay auction for puzzle #883 - Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs will be launched tomorrow. Too much work to get the photo editing and write-up done today. I will have pictures tomorrow of course. The preliminary piece count of 294 is considerably higher than planned.

I purchased some more spray paint today to replenish some of the colors used in the 2012 Pagey Elliott Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange puzzles (there are over two dozen colors in most of them!). I also prepared a batch of boards. Cutting will start on Thursday and I hope to get the three done by Friday.

July 11, 2012

Wednesday 11:56 AM - My second annual auction has been launched. See [link no longer active, auction copied below] for auction listing and pictures. The auction is a five day auction. Final piece count 294.

Due to a problem with the piece which fit into the G:Clef figural within the recently shipped #882, that puzzle will have to be remade, the situation is too complex for attempting a replacement piece. Will I ever get this backlog done? I've scheduled it as the first puzzle to be made after the Puzzle Parley, pushing others down a little.

July 12, 2012

Thursday 5:48 PM - I'm continuing my intense puzzle schedule. Today I was at the shop for about nine hours. In about six hours of work with lunch break I cut all three of the additional 2012 Pagey Elliott Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange (Creative Showcase) puzzles, and afterwards sanded and vacuumed them, then started to paint them. I'm about 20% finished with the painting. Tomorrow I'll resume painting and may get the work done if the sun comes out to help with drying (cloudy today, even had sprinkles). Because I went right into the painting phase, I do not have scanned images of the works prior to painting.

Before I began the Creative Showcase puzzles, I prepared the board for the remake of Happiness. I moved this puzzle up in The Puzzle Queue, I now plan to make and ship this puzzle before leaving for the Puzzle Parley. I left the next puzzle in the August time slot, as I plan to take much needed break after the Puzzle Parley.

The puzzle auction is going extremely well! Thank you for your bids. Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon putting the puzzle together, the first time I've assembled one of my Tricky Egg puzzles (maybe I did the first one). The puzzle was quite hard! I had Osvaldo Fresedo Argentine Tango music playing in the background most of the time, was a very pleasant afternoon! The puzzle is slightly larger than the dimensions I posted on eBay, about 20.6" x 12.4" (on eBay I said 20.25" x 12.375").

From the auction description:

Custom Puzzle Craft Annual Puzzle #2

This is the second wooden jigsaw puzzle in my Annual Puzzle Auction series. This puzzle, Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs is the final puzzle of the Tricky Eggs series and is likely last non-painted "plain wood" puzzle I'll ever auction on eBay.

Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs
About 20 1/4" by 12 3/8""
Creative cutting style
294 pieces including the three tricky eggs

The following table shows the history of my Tricky Eggs puzzles, with links to pictures of the previous puzzles in the series:

Puzzle #
Date Made
Pc / Sq"
Name / Link
July 3, 2007
12.5" x 12.5"
Tung Oiled
Creative Art with Tricky Egg
June 9, 2008
31.5" x 16.5"
Tung Oiled
Creative Art with Six Tricky Eggs
Oct 15, 2008
18" x 15"
Tung Oiled
Creative Art with Four Tricky Eggs
Nov 24, 2009
25.25" x 16.25"
Tung Oiled
Creative Art with Five Tricky Eggs
Feb 20, 2011
19.25" x 11.25"
Tung Oiled
Creative Art with Two Tricky Eggs
July 9, 2012
20.25" x 12.375"
Tung Oiled
Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs
Note: The "Five Tricky Eggs" puzzle was #95 in the 100 Puzzles Projects. Sizes approximate.

The Tricky Eggs series started while fulfilling an order for a plain wooden jigsaw puzzle cut in my Creative Style, when I came up with the idea of putting a "Tricky Egg" piece in one of the corners. The rest is history! These puzzles are noted for their particularly elaborate cutting, with great care spent on "the look", that is making the flow of the pieces look elegant when placed together.

This puzzle, with 297 pieces, was cut over a four day period. After the puzzle was cut, I handed sanded and vacuumed the puzzle three times, with 240 and later 320 grit sand paper and then applied two coats of tung oil to each side. I took care to cut the pieces so they wouldn't be "too delicate" although there are many moderately delicate pieces in the puzzle relatively speaking, none are super delicate. I have many different ways in the way I cut Creative pieces. A prominent feature of this style are pieces which are first cut as "spiral ins" and then embellished on the "way out". In this puzzle I strove to make a lot of variations during the "way out", most pictured, below. "Gear Curl" pieces frequently have separate embellishment pieces next to them.

My "Tricky Egg" series of puzzles do not include my standard signature pieces, rather I select a nice looking piece and sign the back (yes there is a back) of it in the usual way (Custom Puzzle Craft, overall puzzle number, date and my signature) and I mark a second piece on the back to indicate the puzzle is, in this case, Annual Puzzle Action #2, 2012. For this puzzle I used 5-ply Appleply. The Appleply cut extremely well, the puzzle looks great front and back.

I must say I'm very happy to have completed this project. For the last couple years, since completion of the 100 Puzzles Project, I've been trying to close out all commitments made to myself and customers regarding puzzles and yet I still have quite a ways to go! I do plan to remain on the puzzle scene in some capacity going forward, there will be an Annual Auction Puzzle for as long as I'm able!

NOTE: If this puzzle is won by an attendee of the upcoming Puzzle Parley in Salem, MA., I'll bring the puzzle there if OK with the winner.

Puzzle #883, Creative Art with Two Tricky Eggs / Annual Puzzle Auction puzzle #2, year 2012
Photoshopped to highlight the cutting lines

Detail (note: the blue lines in the background form 1/2" squares)

The Eggs

Left to right: Angular Cur, angles tiling back, tilting forward, other with rounded tips and other styles
Some pieces shown front-side others back-side

Tread Gears with Embellishments
Tread Gear embellishment, Tread Gear, Tread Gear, Tread Gear embellishment

Bubble Curls and variants

Bubble Runs, some with spikes and variants

As usual, plenty of Gear Curls with one "Sway Gear"
The "S Gear" at the bottom
requires that part of the gear be cut before the curl, a different skill!

Now "standard" Parallel Direction Whirlies, Same Direction and Concertina variants


Signed pieces

Back side

Note: I cut my jigsaw puzzles using a scroll saw, hand guiding the wood into the blade, this is not a laser or water jet cut puzzle. No templates were used for this puzzle, except for some guidance for the eggs. My puzzles cover fantasy, landscapes, my geometric patterns, famous paintings, mythology - a diverse spectrum of the human condition and more.

I also make very elaborate low piece count painted Creative style puzzles with stands. My latest work:

Golden Ratio Compulsory #4 with Stand (this item not included in this auction!)

Special Notice: I am currently closed to orders.

Shipping cost within the U.S. via 3-Day FedEx is $25.00. Contact me regarding international rates. I accept payment via PayPal only. California residents add 7.75% sales tax. I'll ship to anywhere in the world. If you are attending the Puzzle Parley I can bring the puzzle with me.

Creative Art with Three Tricky Eggs
John S. Stokes III
Date Completed
July 9, 2012
20.6" x 12.4"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

Home About Cutting Styles Journal Custom Puzzle Log Gallery Puzzle Log 100 Puzzles Project Annual Auctions
Puzzle 873 GR_Compulsory_8