By Custom Puzzle Craft
Puzzles 853-867 - Creative Showcase #1.01-1.15
These 15 "Creative Showcase" puzzles were made for the 2012 Pagey Elliott Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange.
Numbered 1 through 15 from top left to lower right.
Note: Eventually I made 11 more puzzles for the Puzzle Parley, go to here to see them
As it happened (from my Journal archives)
March 13, 2012
Tuesday 3:55 PM - Today I started work on the 2012 Puzzle Parley puzzle cutter exchange puzzles (from now on I'll usually refer to them as the "puzzle cutter puzzles"). Was at the shop for several hours and cut the first one - took about two hours to cut. My goal is to include a set of 8 to 10 different whirlies in each puzzle surrounded by basic Creative style cutting. I wanted each puzzle to have 25 pieces, the first one has, I think, 31. Looks like 30 pieces will be around what each one of these 5" x 5" puzzles will have. I won't formally number the puzzles until after they painted. I plan to cut all of them first, then sand all them and then paint all of them - all pieces, both sides. I'll kept them in sequence and will formally number the ones that do not get rejected during the process after all of the work is done. I'm hoping to get all of the Puzzle Parley work done by the end of the month (the complete puzzle cutter set) and several other puzzles to bring to the Parley for sale. This may be a stretch as the cutter puzzles will take me close to the end of the month and I haven't even decided what else I'll be doing for the conference.
Puzzle cutter puzzle #1
Variation in color tone due to overhead lighting
March 15, 2012
Thursday 4:25 PM - Yesterday I cut the 2nd and 3rd puzzle cutter puzzles and today the 4th and 5th. Lot of fun yesterday, a bit more "routine" today. I'm now scanning the puzzles to get better images, plus enhancing the images in Photoshop to bring out the cutting lines. Tomorrow I'll be busy doing other things, may get one more done. Saturday I'll be trapped due to the St. Patrick's Day Parade unless I move my car from underground parking Friday evening - will very difficult to find parking anywhere nearby however at that time. Will resume work on Sunday. I have done some really excellent cutting. I need to make 14 plus one for myself.
Here are the five I've cut so far (numbered in the upper left for tracking), with the first picture an enhanced repeat of the picture I posted on the 13th. They all have the same major elements, kind of interesting to see how the arrangements vary from work to work! Some of the work has been really harrowing - some rather extreme cutting for some of the pieces.
Ten more to go!
March 16, 2012
Friday 9:37 PM - Two more puzzle cutter exchange puzzles done. Taking just under two hours to cut each one. There are 11 design elements I'm repeating in each puzzle - will discuss sometime after all the puzzles are done.
March 18, 2012
Sunday 3:32 PM - Major storm went through here yesterday with residual effects today. Unlike much of the rest of the country, it's cold here. Stayed home yesterday and did taxes, today went to the shop and cut two more puzzle cutter exchange puzzles, continuing to put in the same 11 elements in each puzzle. They require pretty intense concentration to cut! I'm thinking that painting these is going to take forever - I'm currently still planning to do this. I have yet to come up with any kind of strategy, for example should each of the 11 elements be painted the same way in each puzzle? Probably not as the arrangement of elements are never the same.
Nine done, six to go!
March 20, 2012
Tuesday 11:15 PM - Two pieces from the 11th puzzle in the puzzle cutter series:
How do these two pieces go together?
Tuesday 5:42 PM - Today I cut another two in the puzzle cutter series, #10 and #11. I hope the recent ones are as nicely done as the early ones! Tomorrow I plan to cut #12 and #13 and on Thursday the final two. On Friday I'll sand all of the puzzles and take a complete inventory of my spray paints testing all of the spray cans to see what works and what doesn't and then restock as needed. Over the weekend I plan a major painting marathon if the weather is OK. Much nicer here today with clear skies and the temperature in the 60's.
March 21, 2012
Wednesday 6:25 PM - Two more puzzle cutter puzzles done. Just two to go..... will try to get them done tomorrow.
March 22, 2012
Thursday 6:44 PM - Persistence has paid off, I completed puzzle cutter puzzles #14 and #15, the cutting phase of this project is now done! Right near the end of #15, in one of my worst accidents, I lost grip of the wood, perhaps via a lapse of attention, and ran my finger into the saw and suffered a very painful cut. I keep bandages in the shop. I cleaned the cut, applied a bandage and was OK to complete the last puzzle, a small mark in the puzzle indicates where the event happened. I'm OK now, nothing serious, but ouch! Tomorrow I'll sand the 15 puzzles and do a paint inventory as I mentioned yesterday. Cutting went well throughout the project and my creativity was as strong near the end as it was in the beginning; very good today! I was lucky not to hit any voids anytime during the cutting!
Assuming I do not have any problems during the painting phase, these puzzles will be formally numbered as puzzles #853 through #867. I have yet to come up with their official names.
March 23, 2012
Friday 9:38 PM - I struggled with a decision regarding how to complete the "puzzle cutter exchange puzzles" project - coat the boards with tung oil, stain them, or paint them as originally planned? Painting would take much longer. Eventually I decided I will paint them after all. I did the sanding today of all 15 puzzles, but have not inspected, removed whiskers in prepping for painting. I also went through my complete inventory of spray cans, finding about eight were empty or hopelessly clogged, and found replacements, shopping at three different hardware stores to get want I wanted.
Tomorrow I'll finish prepping the boards and I expect to start spray painting.
March 24, 2012
Saturday 7:00 PM - Quite a puzzle marathon - took me over four hours to inspect / clean / count the pieces of the 15 puzzle cutter puzzles. Then I went to the shop and began the painting phase. I've decided that each of the 11 special shapes which appear in each puzzle will be painted the same color. I'm focusing on the 11 shape sets now. I've completed two shape sets (Same Direction Whirly Gear and Tread Gear) plus one "next-to" shape piece set, and am in progress on another two shape piece sets (Parallel Direction Whirly Gear and Sway Gear) and the 12th set I have not discussed here before (Tread Gear Embellishment). Weather permitting, I will continue tomorrow.
The 15 members of the Sway Gear shape set before painting (they were later painted silver)
Completion status as of March 24, 2012
March 25, 2012
Sunday 10:46 PM - There are several sections of this website which are way out of date - the Custom Puzzle and Gallery Puzzle Logs and the Latest Puzzles section. I'm also way overdue to create some new individual puzzle pages to highlight some of the major puzzles I've made since I last created some individual pages, for example Little Houses. My current plan is to complete the puzzle cutters puzzles, then make several puzzles to sell at the puzzle parley, then do the long overdue updates, and finally then get back to the Puzzle Queue. The Puzzle Queue will very likely be pushed back with the first puzzle in the queue being addressed in the second half of April. After I've resumed work on the Puzzle Queue I will then address overhauling the 100 Puzzles Project page.
Sunday 3:40 PM - The rain storm held off today and I was able to get a lot done in about five hours of work. I completed all of the shape sets. Overall the results are excellent although there are a few cases where dark ended up against dark; for these I've decided I'm going to add some accent color near the edges of one of the colors to help highlight the image.
Pile of Sway Gears after painting
Interesting patterns on a spray board from multiple usage - with the top outline being Deep Spirals
Partial picture of completion status as of March 25, 2012
The colors for the remaining pieces will be limited to just several muted colors and will be assigned on a piece by piece basis to best show off the shape piece sets.
March 26, 2012
Monday 10:12 PM - For a variety of reasons including lack of sunshine in the morning to help dry the paint, I didn't make it to the shop today. I'm planning to put in a good solid day tomorrow.
March 27, 2012
Tuesday 5:06 PM - I resumed the marathon effort to paint all 15 puzzle cutter puzzles and made a lot of progress. Other than the pink pieces which I may do over in a less intense shade, the effort has gone well, given that I chose the "gaudy" solution for how to color the pieces. I will put in another long day tomorrow and I expect to complete these puzzles. The puzzles have from 30 to 34 pieces, and as I've now done 25, I have anywhere from five to nine pieces to go for each puzzle. I've made a lot of progress in my methodology for how to spray paint the pieces and have encountered few problems.
Partial picture of completion status as of March 27, 2012
The missing pieces were still drying
March 28, 2012
Wednesday 3:29 PM - Today I completed the painting of the 15 puzzle cutter puzzles! Some look quite good. I decided to leave the pink pieces as they were.. At this time I haven't decided which of the 15 I'll keep for myself. The 14 others will be exchanged with other puzzle cutters at the 2012 Puzzle Parley in Salem Mass this July. If less than 14 puzzle cutters participate in the exchange, I'll offer the remainder for sale during the puzzle sales session. If more than 14 puzzle cutters participate, my understanding is that the puzzles will be allocated by chance.
I find that I still like the plain wood pictures that I enhanced in Photoshop as much as the painted versions, perhaps if there is a "next time" I'll apply tung oil or something instead to bring out the cutting lines Sure would be easier!
Puzzle 857 - 2012 Puzzle Parley Cutter Exchange Puzzle #5
Both sides and the edges of each piece are painted
The dark area below the yellow on the left is two pieces (one black, one violet) - not clear in this photo
Tomorrow I'll go to the shop, bring all of the puzzles home; sign, date, number them (signing will be on the outer edges), all 15 will be assigned today's date as painting for all of them was completed today. I'll then either photograph them or scan them, and write up some documentation discussing the 11 shapes and 1 embellishment common to all 15 puzzles. I also need to decide which one I'll keep. Then I need to buy special boxes for these. My thoughts are that the puzzles will be stored assembled, due to the delicate nature of some of the pieces. After all of this is done, I'll take a short break, then begin the next phase of the Puzzle Parley puzzles - current thoughts are two or three pattern puzzles (one featuring a new pattern) and one fairly major puzzle cut in Creative style. Then a longer break, then the resumption of the Puzzle Queue.
Puzzle 864 - 2012 Puzzle Parley Cutter Exchange Puzzle #12
March 29, 2012
Thursday 6:13 PM - I redid all of the black pieces (all 46 of them) with a semi-gloss, the artworks look better now. The puzzles are now home. This afternoon I located some nice white 5" x 3" gift boxes, just the right size for storing the puzzles disassembled. Earlier I had said I would store the puzzles assembled, but I disassembled with some padding will work well. I bought just one of the boxes to test it, I'll buy more tomorrow. The focus tomorrow will be on wrapping up all phases of the puzzle cutter exchange project.
Last night I decided on the set of images I'll be using for puzzles to sell at the Puzzle Parley. All four will be geometric pattern puzzles. There will be two full sized puzzles, The Attractor (will have fancy Creative style in the black areas, and Long Round in the colored areas), and a new one, Pentagons and Triangles which will be a difficult pentagon shaped Long Round puzzle. Also there will be two mini-geometrics, a repeat of mini Squares and Triangles with Gray, and for the first time, a mini version of Cubic Alternations. I'm going to go in major marathon mode and try to have all of these puzzles done by the end of next weekend after I'm done with the puzzle cutter exchange project. I don't have the time to do a "spectacular" Creative style puzzle to sell at the show. I will be bringing the Salvador Dali The Last Supper puzzle for display.
April 22, 2012
Sunday 10:51 AM - Here is a rather large picture showing the 11 elements which appear in each of the 15 Creative Showcase puzzles. I chose five examples of each element from the collection of pictures.
I have many other kinds of fancy curls which I've included in my Creative puzzles, but this set is a good representation of the more common ones.
The Sway Gear is relatively new, first introduced in Little Houses in June 2011, as the so-called Billion Dollar Piece.
|John S. Stokes III|
|March 13-22, 2012 - Painting completed March 28, 2012|
|5" x 5"|
Color Line Cutting
© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster