Custom Puzzle Craft
Maker of Fine Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles
Hello! I'm John Stokes and I am an artist and a puzzle maker - I am one of the most interesting wooden jigsaw puzzle makers in the world.
Custom Puzzle Craft is permanently closed to new orders.
Custom Puzzle Craft is permanently closed to new orders. Information here for legacy purposes only.
You have three ways to buy Custom Puzzle Craft wooden jigsaw puzzles:
1st Way: Order a Custom Puzzle - made by John from a picture you supply. The picture may be a digital camera or cell phone file, photographic print, poster, a scan file or a digital art file.
You may request Special Pieces - puzzle pieces in shapes you want - Figures (for example - a star, cat, turtle, flower, heart, crescent moon... ) and Words (your name, initials, short messages... ). You have five sizes of puzzles pieces to choose from, ranging from Small for the Puzzle Enthusiast, to Quadruple Large for young children. You also have several Cutting Styles to choose from. The Custom Puzzle section steps you through the ordering process and provides you with the exact cost of your puzzle based on options you choose. I can add printed text to your digital files.
I have made a number of Wedding Proposal puzzles, Team Building puzzles, Holiday, Birthday, I Love You puzzles and others. I will work with you to make the quality jigsaw puzzle you want. Discontinued after making more than 100!.
2nd Way: Order a Gallery Puzzle - by selecting a Print from the Custom Puzzle Craft Art Gallery This gallery contains prints selected by John from Custom Puzzle Craft's Featured Artists. John will then make a puzzle from the Print you choose. Customization is available. In my Gallery section I also provide a link to some Art Poster websites from which you may order posters to be used as puzzles.
3rd Way: Bid on an Annual Auction Puzzle. Once a year I place a puzzle on eBay for auction. Prior to the Annual Auction Puzzle series, I had a 100 Puzzles Project which started in April 2000 and completed in July 2010.
I also make Art Objects: specialty puzzles and other puzzle related items.
History - How Custom Puzzle Craft came about:
My jigsaw puzzle roots go back a long way. As a child, I showed considerable aptitude for putting together jigsaw puzzles, solving 500 piece Milton Bradley Big Ben cardboard jigsaws and 300 piece Straus wooden jigsaw puzzles by the time I was four. In my early years I could count on receiving puzzles as birthday presents or gifts over the holidays. Once, while I was a teenager, I went to the attic where my father had some tools, located a "hack saw" and made myself a 40 piece jigsaw puzzle using a piece of 3/4" pine wood with a crayon drawing of flying saucers. Alas, I no longer have this puzzle.
When young I wanted to be a carpenter, another time an artist, another time a weather forecaster, another time a stockbroker. I ended up programming computers for 20 years, with some years heavily involved in geographic based information systems. I also became deeply involved with exploring a method of pattern generation I invented while a freshman in high school. I wrote some programs of my own (Expansions and Color Expansions) designed to grow my "inventions". These programs generated the basis of intricate patterns shown on the Signature Piece page.
In the fall of 1999, when I was 49 years old, I had gone probably 30 years without a new jigsaw puzzle with the exception of a Springbok or two. One day while "surfing" on eBay it occurred to me to look for jigsaw puzzles. Wow! Not only did I find a few puzzles that I had longed to solve again, I discovered jigsaw puzzles of a whole new level I had never seen before. Pastimes, Artenos and PARs. Beautiful pictures and beautiful puzzle pieces. I felt like a young shaman of days gone by, who, after years of only hearing words about the world while a child, was finally allowed by the elders to emerge from the confines, to see the outdoors for the first time!
Exploring links of buyers and sellers led me to sites that featured great puzzle collections, and sites that sold hand made wooden puzzles. I now knew that I found something I "really" wanted to do. So now I'm back to puzzles again.
I have immersed myself learning about scroll saws, blades, wood, image mounting, laminating, copyrights, cutting styles, puzzle history, contacting other puzzles makers, setting up a website and more! Puzzle crafting brings together a desire to do things with wood and with my hands, my artistic leanings, my photographic interests, and putting together jigsaw puzzles!
Custom Puzzle Craft was founded as the calendar changed to the 2000's. Still a young enterprise. I have developed my own styles of puzzle piece shapes - "Swirl Curl" which is the most popular, "Long Round" the most difficult, and my premier, elaborate "Creative Style". I also offer grid styles for corporate and other events.
A variety of pieces from an early puzzle: Puzzle 34, a complex custom puzzle
K. Chin's "We Have to Believe in Rainbows"
Creative style cutting from a puzzle made in November 2004
Yes, I cut regular grid style puzzles too!
I have many ideas for wooden jigsaw puzzle designs and I hope to introduce new flavors to the menu and well as some favorite recipes! I plan to be around crafting puzzles for many years. If you are interested in trying a new puzzle company, I hope you look around this website some more. My puzzles represent good style and good value .
In September 2000, I announced that my monthly puzzle auction on eBay would last for 100 puzzles. This series of puzzles will take me through the current decade and very likely into the next decade. 100 puzzles! Of course, I'll be making custom order puzzles and occasional other puzzles along the way. What will the world be like in 2010?
Going through extraordinary steps to meet a customer's unusual requirements!
Custom Puzzle Craft’s mission is to produce wooden jigsaw puzzles with the highest standards of excellence for puzzle enthusiasts of all ages and to have fun while doing so.
© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster