Puzzle 852 - Window at Tangier

By Custom Puzzle Craft

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Puzzle #852 - Window at Tangier
Some of the border image here Photoshopped due to exposure problems
The lighter blues should be a bit darker
Poster provided by customer

I had a lot of problems making this puzzle. Making this puzzle was one of the most dragged out projects in the history of Custom Puzzle Craft! The first attempt failed as my glue mount produced some small wrinkles. The second attempt, which was professionally cold-press mounted failed as lithographic ink tended to rub off when handling the same area for some time when cutting intricate Creative style pieces. The third attempt was a winner, I had the print laminated. I do not normally laminate lithographic prints and the next time I cut one will try again without lamination. This puzzle, with the two failures and a bout of the flu took up most of January and February, pushing back my other orders.

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

January 5, 2012

Thursday 6:01 PM - Tomorrow I get back to puzzle work, I'll go to the shop and prepare the board for #852, a Matisse print, and then mount the print. I won't be announcing the name or showing the pictures for this puzzle until after the puzzle has shipped, so there will be no "in progress" pictures for this puzzle unless the customer reads this and contacts me and says it is OK. I will take pictures of the progress for later documentation.

January 8, 2012

Sunday 11:30 AM - I mounted the print for puzzle #852, a Matisse, this morning. Shortly after that, I heard from the customer, cutting will start tomorrow or Tuesday. Customers said it is OK to post in progress pictures here as he won't look, so I will!

January 10, 2012

Tuesday 10:21 AM - I was going to start work on the Matisse this morning, but unfortunately found that the mount failed. There is an area of slight waviness in the print, which means that there is an area that is not properly glued down. So... I'll have to reorder the print, recut the board, and this time I'll have the print professionally mounted. So this is quite a setback. I plan to maintain order of the queue as is as long as all customers remain interested in having puzzles done.

January 18, 2012

Wednesday 3:20 PM - Late yesterday the replacement Matisse print arrived in the mail. Today I went to the shop to prepare a new board and then dropped off the board and print for mounting at a downtown reprographics shop. The mount should be completed by tomorrow morning. I expect to do some initial cutting of the puzzle in the afternoon and ramp up the cutting from then.

January 21, 2012

Saturday 10:53 PM - For a variety of reasons I haven't started cutting the Matisse. I'm currently expecting to start cutting on Monday.

January 22, 2012

Sunday 4:35 PM - Moving things up after moving them back, today I started cutting puzzle #852, Matisse's Window at Tangier, painted in 1912. I did the initial cut, which went very well, and the wavy border. I'm going to take my time with this puzzle doing a few hours or so each day from here on out. The puzzle is being cut in my Creative style and will have 500-525 pieces including four figurals. The puzzle will be about 14 7/8" by 21 5/8" in size.

January 24, 2012

Tuesday 12:05 PM - I've come down with a full blown cold and have cancelled / postponed all engagements. I'll resume the puzzle when I'm well.

January 28, 2012

Saturday 2:05 PM - Flu going around San Diego. I was fully affected with a strong cold with a fever peaking at 101.2 on Wednesday. Since then I've made an excellent recovery. I expect to resume work on puzzle #852, Matisse's Window at Tangier tomorrow.

Extremely dry here today, with a relative humidity of just 11.5% right now. Hopefully the work at the shop has not warped.

January 29, 2012

Sunday 2:28 PM - I'm finally back to work on #852! Was at the shop for three hours with about 2.5 hours of cutting. Most of the work was on further subdivision of the large sections. I was pleased to find the two halves that I had left on my work table to be nice and flat, no warping. I did get to some detail cutting, cutting about 25 pieces. I plan to spend three hours a day at the shop from here on out until the puzzle is done. Tomorrow will see fancier pieces, maybe an egg. I've upped the projected piece count from "~500-525" to "~525".

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier - status as of the end of January 29, 2012
That's my signature piece, lower left

January 30, 2012

Monday 2:48 PM - My quest to complete the backlog as shown in Puzzle Queue seems to just NEVER, NEVER end. Yet another disaster! I cut about 25 more pieces in #852 and in looking at the completed section, the colors just didn't seem right - the lithographic ink was coming off onto my fingers! I took the completed section home and compared it to the identical print which I had previously mounted with glue (with failed results) but hadn't gotten around to tossing, and sure enough major problems. So this work is cancelled again. I will have to re-order again, professionally re-mount and this time have it laminated too. I don't like lamination, but I have no choice in the matter. I was not sweaty at the shop and the humidity was low, the inks just come off. The only print I have for another puzzle in the Queue is Heart Kids for #855. I'll take a look at this print tomorrow - and as I have a couple copies, I can take the liberty and experiment rubbing hard on a spot to see if it will need lamination.

Colors as the should be

We've got problems - show over for this attempt
Ashame as there is some nice cutting!

I'll have to admit I have thoughts of just saying, the time had come, shut the puzzle business down now! Really! But I'll go and get this backlog, which right now seems to me like a ball-and-chain, done.

February 4, 2012

Saturday 11:42 AM - This morning I prepared a new board for the next iteration of the attempt to make puzzle #852, Window at Tangier. The print should arrive today or Monday. After it arrives, I'll drop off the board and print for mounting and lamination (requesting the thinnest lamination available). I expect to start cutting this latest version attempt sometime in the coming week.

February 8, 2012

Wednesday 5:43 PM - On Monday I received the print (My Backyard - Georgia O'Keeffe) for the puzzle which is currently scheduled for June 2013. I wasn't expecting this print that day, but I was expecting the replacement print for Window at Tangier, so my first reaction is that the company sent me the wrong print as the print was from the same place! Fortunately there was a note from the customer so this problem was quickly resolved. Today I did receive the Window at Tangier print. I will drop off the print for mounting and lamination tomorrow.

Meanwhile I'm still waiting on customer decisions for the next two puzzles. These puzzles may get pushed back if I don't have prints in hand after completing Window at Tangier, as I have the poster for the April puzzle, Heart Kids (by Romero Britto) on hand and have developed a cutting strategy for this puzzle - will be quite interesting, details to appear here eventually!

February 10, 2012

Friday 9:05 PM - Yesterday I dropped off the board & print for #852, Window at Tangier, for mounting and lamination; this morning picked it up, looks perfect. I expect to start cutting on Monday.

February 13, 2012

Monday 6:55 PM - Cutting of #852, Window at Tangier, to start tomorrow, all is ready.

For the next two puzzles I will soon inform the customers about a deadline regarding getting their prints in, otherwise their puzzles will be cancelled.

February 14, 2012

Tuesday 2:32 - The third effort to make #852, Window at Tangier, is now in the cutting phase! Today I did the initial cuts, dividing the board into quarters and then did the wavy border. Cutting is going well, no problems with the lamination. Tomorrow I have to "man" Gallery 21 in the afternoon, I'll get some cutting in tomorrow morning. I plan to get some cutting in each day until the puzzle is done.

February 15, 2012

Wednesday 6:19 PM - I did several hours of cutting in today. I wish I could say that I'm super happy with the way the laminated surface is cutting, but I can't. For now I'm going to continue with the cutting. The issue is the aesthetics of how the cutting tracks appear compared to paper only. I'll cut one more day and then decide if I want to continue. If I cancel, I will return the check I received for this puzzle and discontinue Creative style with modern lithographic prints. I'll have a picture tomorrow.

February 16, 2012

Thursday 1:59 PM - Didn't make it to the shop today, plan to put in a major cutting session tomorrow.

February 17, 2012

Friday 4:21 PM - I was at the shop for several hours this afternoon and cut about 50 pieces with the total now around 80 pieces. Cutting is going well and I have decided that it is "good enough" and will continue until the puzzle is completed. I expect to spend more time at the shop this weekend.

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier (right, status as of the end of cutting on February 17, 2012)
To the left is what I cut from attempt #2 before abandoning it
Note: backs not sanded, leading to an uneven surface in this photo

In the picture, above, on the left hand side is what I cut from the unlaminated version. Some of the ink came off, which is why I abandoned it, some of the blues rubbed off changing the color to more of a violet color. The problem is more pronounced in the photo posted here on January 31. On the right, of course no color rubbing off problems. The laminated version does not cut as "puzzlely", the cutting tracks are clearer in the non-laminated version. For creative style I like the non-laminated version more as it shows off the cutting style better, some might argue that it detracts to much from the image.

February 18, 2012

Saturday 6:01 PM - Cut around 55 pieces this afternoon of Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier, cutting going well. Did some very nice cutting near the top. Now about 25% complete. Will continue to put in a few hours each day.

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier status as of February 18, 2012

February 19, 2012

Sunday 4:12 PM - Although I was at the shop 3 hours today, I cut just 37 pieces mainly because I spend quite a bit of time subdividing the second quarter section of the puzzle. Cutting continues to go well and again I cut some nice pieces. I'm up to about 175 pieces. Cutting will continue tomorrow. I forgot my camera but my iPhone performed a call to duty very nicely!

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier status as of February 19, 2012

February 20, 2012

Monday 10:51 PM - Another day at the shop this afternoon, cut about 63 pieces, count up to around 238, at least 40% done now. Cutting continues to go well, thankfully no voids encountered so far. I expect to get in another three hours or so in tomorrow. This coming weekend I'll be travelling so I will not get any cutting in on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I was hoping to complete the puzzle before then, however I continue to make good progress with the puzzle and expect to complete the puzzle by about the end of February. Puzzles #853 and #854 will likely be pushed back as I haven't heard from those customers, the next puzzle will likely be #855, Heart Kids, moved up to 853.

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier status as of February 20, 2012

February 21, 2012

Tuesday 6:30 PM - Today's piece count came to around 57, bringing the total to around 295. Did some good cutting again! The pictures came out very blurred, will take "before" and "after" pictures when I go to the shop tomorrow.

February 22, 2012

Wednesday 4:43 PM - I did another cutting session today, around 3 1/2 hours, cutting about 65 pieces bringing the total to around 360. I've upped the projected piece count from 525 to 550 as I seem to be running a bit over the previous projection. Cutting continues to go well and again some very nice cutting today. Due to an upcoming short trip, this was the last day of cutting for now. I will resume cutting next Monday. A lot of neat detail is not visible in these pictures, will have other pictures when the puzzle is done.

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier status as of February 22, 2012

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier status as of February 21, 2012

February 27, 2012

Monday 8:38 AM - I'm now back from a very successful surprise visit to Philadelphia to see my brother for his birthday. Puzzle cutting resumes tomorrow (Tuesday).

February 28, 2012

Tuesday 10:05 PM - I was at the shop 3-4 hours today and cut another 60 pieces or so bringing the total to around 420. The puzzle is now around 75% done. When I arrived at the shop I was impressed with how good the puzzle looked! I expect to complete the puzzle by Friday.

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier status as of February 28, 2012

February 29, 2012

Wednesday 6:24 PM - Today I put in another block of time and cut around 65 pieces of Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier bringing the total to around 485. I have about 75 pieces to go and I'm going to try and complete the puzzle tomorrow. Friday I'll clean / inspect / ship it. Cutting continues to go well.

Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier status as of February 29, 2012

March 1, 2012

Thursday 4:52 PM - Spent about 5 hours at the shop today and completed the puzzle, Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier! I've sanded and vacuumed the back of the puzzle and the puzzle is now home. Tomorrow I'll photograph / clean / inspect / count the pieces / box and I may get to shipping it, if not, then Monday. I'll have photos tomorrow or this weekend. The puzzle has a lot of neat cutting.

March 3, 2012

Saturday 7:48 PM - The preliminary piece count for Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier is 594 pieces, I'll have the final piece count tomorrow. Will have pictures tomorrow, this puzzle is one of my best! Puzzle ships Monday morning, then I start the 2012 Puzzle Cutter's Exchange project.

I have decided that I'm going to offer for sale 100 Puzzles Project puzzles #10 and #39 at the 2012 Puzzle Parley, these will be offered for a fixed price at a modest premium to the price they sold for on eBay in 2001 and 2004 respectively. These are the only two 100 Puzzles Project puzzles I'm offering for resale, accepted from a customer in barter exchange for other puzzles late last year, the first and only time I'll be doing this. Any other 100 Puzzles Project puzzle will have to circulate independently of me!

Actually, before I start the Puzzle Cutter's Exchange project, I plan to assemble the Salvador Dali Last Supper puzzle, a spectacular Creative Style puzzle I made in August 2005. I need to repair a piece. This puzzle will be offered on eBay soon, being sold on a consignment basis, the only time I plan to do this for one of my puzzles!

March 5, 2012

Monday 11:23 PM - Sorry for being so late in posting, I've had numerous things interrupting me and finally I'm getting around to posting pictures! The final piece count for Puzzle #852, Window at Tangier is unchanged at 594 pieces.

Once of my favorite areas of the puzzle along the bottom - some excellent cutting here!
Note the Lion figural, and just to the right a very fancy "Sway Gear" (a similar previous piece introduced here as the "Billion $ piece")
Note the egg piece below the lion (one of four in this puzzle)
Colors too dark in this photo

One of the "angular" areas in the puzzle

Another "angular" area
This phenomenon frequently appears once or twice in my larger Creative puzzles - this puzzle three or four times

Figural Set: Morocco, Star, Signature Piece, Lion

An interesting piece

This one (very under exposed) looks like some kind of boat!

A wide variety of Whirly pieces and other phenomenons! Plus the four small egg pieces.
I really need to write a paper about the techniques used here!

Window at Tangier
Henri Matisse
Date Completed
March 1, 2012
14 7/8" x 21 1/2"
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting
Morocco, Star, Lion

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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