The Details

This is the part with the pictures and videos of all the details. Some of these videos are a bit on the large side, just so you know.

I make my puzzles in five sizes – 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 12x18, and 13x19. The 5x7's are the 'try me' size – not too expensive and they don't take forever to do.

I also have three levels of difficulty. 'Grid', 'Freestyle', and 'Tiny Pieces', which are all pretty much what they sound like.

A 'Grid' puzzle has pieces that are rectangular like a mass produced puzzle. I don't use the simple knob type interlocks they use, I prefer a style called 'eared', also called 'heart shaped' or 'butterfly'. I feel it gives a tighter lock. I call mine 'eared' because, to be honest, not all of them are perfectly heart shaped. This is tricky work and I'm working by hand.

A 'Freestyle' puzzle has much more interesting piece shapes. This is where I cut the pieces in whatever shape they happen to come out in. It leads to a much more interesting puzzle and allows me to control the level of difficulty. The 'eared' interlocks I use can be split in half to make the puzzle more fun. I can cut along color lines. Bascially, there are a lot of evil things I can do to make the puzzle more challenging. Oh, and I sometimes make the edges wavy instead of straight, and the edges pieces may or may not interlock with each other. They all lock into place, but you may have to put in an interior piece or two to make that happen. By default I shoot for a balance between challenging and fun but when you order a puzzle you can tell me to make it easier or harder.

'Tiny Pieces' is actually tougher, I think, than 'Freestyle'. The pieces are rectangular but they are about 30% smaller than 'Grid' pieces. Because they are so small they tend to be pretty much all the same shape. It sounds easy enough, but it's not. Generally all you have to go on to find a piece are the details of the interlocks. When I finished the puzzle pictured I forgot to take the picture before I started to count it out. Fortunately I realized it fairly soon so I only had to re-assemble the bottom right corner. Now when I do one of my puzzles I'm basically doing it the second time, since I already did it once when I made it. It still took some time to do just that small section.

Here's a timelapse video I did of cutting an 8x10 puzzle. The actual timelapse portion covers just under 4.5 hours

Here's a a little movie of me cutting a single piece from a puzzle.

This clip is also cutting a single piece but zoomed in so you can see what I'm doing.

This is a nice, slow flyover video of a 13x19 puzzle called "Hippo In Cruise Mode". It wound up at 517 pieces with 14 figurals or special shaped pieces.

And here's how it looks all boxed up:

This is a silent unboxing video of this size puzzle:

Line Art
Line Art is something I came up with in April of 2021. I've never seen anyone else doing it, but I haven't really looked. I got to thinking and realized that, in much the same way I cut emphasis lines into and around figurals, I could do something similar in the puzzle itself.

I did some experiments and I like how it looks. So, when you're doing one of my puzzles look for pieces with oddly shaped edges, or ones where it looks like there are cuts that go into the piece. Usually these pieces will be associated with a figural, but if they're not then you've found some Line Art. Like the figures it's easiest to see from the back but I generally cut it to be 'read' from the front.

Most commonly I put my maker's mark - an SVD flowed together. Here are a couple of shots of it cut into puzzles:

Shining a light across the puzzle is a good way to find Line Art, as well as figurals. You can use the flashlight function on your phone but if you do you won't be able to take a picture of it when you find it. I use a small flashlight.
Here's the same piece of Line Art with and without the side lighting (this one happened fall inside a piece):

I can put more elaborate Line Art into a puzzle. Names, for example. If you want to send a puzzle with a hidden message, let me know - I can probably make it work. A proposal of some sort could be fun to do. First you work the puzzle together and then, at the end, if they haven't noticed the message you use a light to side light the puzzle and highlight it for them. Could be fun.

My Shop


The Process


The Articles