Saturday, July 31, 2010

Solving a Puzzle

The mailman delivered a little blue box wrapped in a ribbon.

We opened it and poured the contents on the table. It was a jigsaw puzzle, but there was no picture on the package. The pieces were crisply sawn out of cherry plywood.

They felt completely different from the usual cardboard puzzle pieces. They slid together with a satisfying snap. This was no ordinary jigsaw puzzle. It was a whole new tactile experience.

Some of the pieces were cut in silhouettes. There was a snake, a clown, a dollar sign, a dog, and a boy and a girl holding hands. Someone had carefully cut around the shape of a face.

Other pieces were designed to bamboozle the average puzzler, such as straight edges inside the puzzle, or irregular extensions that stuck out of the rectangular perimeter.

One piece was initialed with the name of the clever craftsperson who did the cutting.

The puzzle went together in 22 minutes, even without looking at the picture. HA, HA, HA….those devious puzzlemakers thought they could befuddle me. But no, you cannot fool the artist who painted the picture: It’s “The Uses of Soybeans.” I know every atom of that image.


We had such fun building the puzzle that we have decided to make it an annual tradition.

Stave puzzles is a new licensee for Dinotopia and my other artwork. They sent this puzzle as a gift to celebrate our new business venture. If you love puzzles, or if you want to experience puzzling on a whole new level, have a peek at their website.

They’ve got a nifty assortment of one-of-a-kind images by me, and they would be delighted to handcraft a brain-frazzling puzzle for you or for someone you would love to torment.
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Stave Puzzles.com introduces James Gurney (with a puzzle for a 20% discount ).
Stave’s JG assorted products

8 comments:

Honey P. Amplegood said...

I didn't know you illustrated 17 US postage stamps!

James Gurney said...

Yes, 15 of them were all in one issue: The World of Dinosaurs. There was also the Sickle Cell Awareness stamp, and a postal card for the Northwest Territories.

Daroo said...

Neat -- I'll have to check out their site!

Hey I don't want to keep you -- I'm sure you have to get to the Clinton wedding -- now are you going as a guest or the official sketchographer?

James Gurney said...

Daroo--Ha, ha--the town is full of press, but I haven't seen any of the Clintons yet, though there was a crowd outside one of the restaurants while Bill was dining.

Erik Bongers said...

I think you just put the blocks together at random, and painted the picture over it, didn't you?

The wedding at Belgian national TV

dt said...

Funny, I was thinking about you with the wedding going on in your neck of the woods. Any wedding comments? Will you be sketching any of the passers by?

twilightcat said...

I love puzzles, and so do my kids, but at those prices I'd never let them touch them!

H.K.Hollinstone studio said...

I love your painting, and the puzzle looks fun! I like how they've designed it too, with the silhouettes. Very neat idea.