Puzzle 359 - Squares and Triangles with Gray

By Custom Puzzle Craft

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Puzzle #359 - Squares and Triangles with Gray

Squares and Triangles with Gray is my second jigsaw puzzle featuring my own artwork. It is the first puzzle I've cut using Mahogany wood.

Puzzle #359 - Figurals

Fractagon and Penta-curl

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

December 1, 2002

7:50 pm - I spent about six hours cutting Squares and Triangles with Gray but progress was very slow as the pattern makes it almost impossible to see where I've cut, so I have to resort to a magnifier to assist in viewing while cutting. Also, the mahogany is a little more "squirmy" than the Finland Birch requiring more attention. I'm about a third done. Several pieces have necks a bit on the thin side, something I'll note in the auction. The puzzle will be one of the most difficult (to assemble) puzzles I've ever made, given the difficulty of assembling it as I cut it! The puzzle will have four Tri-curls, four Quadra-curls and four Penta-curls, The Observer and a reflection of The Observer and a Fractagon. As soon as I cut the Fractagon, The Observer said (unusually soft female voice), "A precious gem!"

December 2, 2002

10:00 pm - I decided to focus on Squares and Triangles with Gray, and completed another 1/3 of the puzzle. This puzzle is going to be phenomenally hard to assemble, I think. The Observer (almost desperate, pleading, rasping, male voice this time), shortly after I cut the first Observer figural said, "Have pity! Have pity!", meant to prod me into cutting more round knob interlocks! I mentioned that I don't intentionally change cutting styles mid-stream, but this puzzle will have a slight bias towards more knobs, and the edges will be "mostly" interlocking. So far no eggs have appeared, doesn't look like any will.

I plan to finish the puzzle tomorrow.

December 3, 2002

6:24 pm - Completed Squares and Triangles with Gray, looks extremely good. After cutting and sanding, I applied two thin coats of oil to the back, which turned the mahogany into a rich shade of mahogany color, and has a nice smooth touch. By applying thin coats I avoided getting fluid on the sides of the pieces, although I won't know for sure until I take the puzzle apart. The puzzle is at the shop, drying, will have photos tomorrow. I plan to launch the auction of this puzzle on Friday, December 6th.

From the auction description:
(Excluding pictures)

The December 2002 auction, the 24th in the 100 Puzzles Project has been launched! This is the last auction of year 2002, and the third year in a row I've managed to get eight auctions underway. Perhaps next year I'll do more? I would like to get the project done before the end of the decade!

This is the 24th Custom Puzzle Craft wooden jigsaw puzzle to be offered in my ongoing 100 Puzzles Project of almost-monthly auctions, planned to run through the year 2009.

"Squares and Triangles, with Gray"

A Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle cut by John Stokes (the seller of this puzzle)
15 11/16" by 15 11/16"
497 pieces, Swirl Curl cutting style
An Intricate Geometric Pattern created by John Stokes (yes, the same one!)

Figurals: A Fractagon and The Mysterious Enigmatic Observer and a Reflection of Same
Four Tri-curls, Four Quadra-curls and Four Penta-curls
First time appearance for Quadra- and Penta-curls
This is a very difficult puzzle
My first puzzle cut with Mahogany backing

This puzzle is the second puzzle in my 100 Puzzles Project to feature one of my Geometric Patterns. My Geometric Pattern images are based on algorithms I invented in high school and developed over the years. In this image, Squares and Triangles, with Gray, I worked with a pattern I developed some time ago, Squares and Triangles, and then performed digital iterations of "color logic" to enhance it in a way to highlight the structure of the design, and then replicated elements of the design in a way to form the overall image used for this puzzle. The digital image was then projected via an "inverse scanner", the state-of-the-art Oce Lightjet 430 photographic printer, on Fuji Crystal Archive Matte film, to create the print. This is my largest Geometric Puzzle to date, at 15 11/16" by 15 11/16". When I auctioned my first Geometric Puzzle in June 2001, I said the 100 Puzzle Project would feature five different Geometric Patterns during the course of the Project.... now, chances are that there may be several more than five different ones.

Normally I use Finland Birch for my puzzles, this puzzle is my first using wood with mahogany veneer, sandwiching a poplar core. I thank Melinda Shebell of Jardin Puzzles for introducing the wood at a recent Association of Game and Puzzle Collectors meeting in NYC this past September 28th.

My geometric puzzles each contain a "Fractagon" figural (a name I coined from Fractal Polygon - and so far, Google turns up pages from my website and no others when searching for Fractagon!) This puzzle also contains "Poly-curls", instances where more than two curls converge to a single point. In the picture, above, five curls converge to a single point within the white square. This puzzle features four Tri-curls, four Quadra-curls (the most tricky to assemble due to their particular placement) and four Penta-curls. This puzzle is the first I've made with either Quadra- or Penta-curls.

Now, about the puzzle. The puzzle is very difficult. If Custom Puzzle Craft had a difficulty rating system like Stave Puzzles, it would have the most difficult rating. It took me about 8 hours to assemble this 497 piece puzzle and I had the double advantage of having cut the puzzle (knowing where the figurals and my signature piece went), plus being the artist who created the image! I can usually beat Par puzzle times, to put the 8 hours into perspective.

This puzzle is cut in my Swirl Curl style, and includes my standard signature piece (signed, dated and numbered on the back) and a second piece marked on the back indicating the puzzle belongs to the 100 Puzzles Project. There are three figurals: the Fractagon and the double presence of The Observer (another first for one of my puzzles). The Observer normally shows up when he / she feels like it, but this time actually asked, in fact whined, to be included, perhaps to eliminate any chance that I had other plans.

Squares and Triangles with Gray
John S. Stokes III
Date Completed
December 3, 2002
15 11/16" x 15 11/16"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting
Fractagon, The Observer and his (her?) reflection

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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