The Puzzle Tree Dismantled - San Diego, California
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Maker of Fine Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles and Sculptures
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Erected October 30, 2003 - Dismantled January 26, 2005 - Destroyed October 22, 2007

All pictures on this page taken on January 26, 2005

Last formal picture of The Puzzle Tree

Last photo of The Puzzle Tree

The Port District was going to remove the tree from the planter box fully assembled, but Bob and I mentioned that we wanted to disassemble the tree in place, to reduce damage.

There are no photos of us taking the tree apart.

Some branches now down - all of the polyurethane coating on the spear points has weathered off
There is considerable weathering on the top side of the puzzle pieces.

The Puzzle Tree after the top 11 branches were removed
Sky threatened rain, but none fell

Last reach to the sky by the waterfront



Bob and his Trans Am "Deathmobile" (he does have a nicer car, too!)

A traffic stopper about to get on I-5 for Mixed Media!
Certainly one of the funniest sights I've seen in a while

The Puzzle Tree's new temporary home
Pretty sad

The top-most piece with major weathering

Spear stubs - well weathered

So what will happen to The Puzzle Tree?

I have decided I'm not interested in restoring The Puzzle Tree to its original state, unless commissioned to do so. The work required would take at least a full month, and if the tree is re-installed outdoors, it would be just a year or so before another restoration would be required. A suggestion has been made that the wooden pieces be painted in different colors with durable exterior paint.

If we receive permission to install The Puzzle Tree at Mixed Media from the owner of the Mixed Media property, I will be willing to design a color scheme and refurbish the tree for installation with painted pieces. If we do not receive permission to install the tree at Mixed Media, the future of the tree is uncertain, as at this point Bob is no longer interesting in installing the tree at his place, due to the current condition of the tree: very likely The Puzzle Tree would be dispersed, with pieces given away as mementos, maybe a few would show up on eBay as standalone items or be included as future "bonus" items with puzzle auctions.

My preliminary color scheme idea is for blue, gold, silver and white pieces with the center "traditional" or "grid" piece painted red. The spear tips would be painted gold, the stubs glossy black. We could install floodlights for dramatic night time lighting.

- - - - -

Late 2006, the large wooden puzzle pieces were removed from the branches and in February 2007 the wooden pieces were moved to San Pasqual, CA. They are in Bob Archer's possession. In early February 2007, I had planned to display a few of the pieces in an art show but decided that the now very weathered pieces required too much restoration work. I have no photographic record of the departure of the puzzle pieces.

June 1, 2007, the pipes and now very weathered Spears and Stubs were also moved to San Pasqual, CA.

Remaining Puzzle Tree spears waiting to be loaded for departure - June 1, 2007

Puzzle Tree trunk (left), Puzzle Tree spears, and a trunk (right) for a sculpture designed by Jean Cornwell
Just before departure from Mixed Media, June 1, 2007

October 22, 2007 a great swarm of firestorms struck San Diego county. The worst fire was The Witch Creek Fire. In this fire, Bob Archer's home at San Pasqual was destroyed well as all of the Puzzle Tree's big wooden puzzle pieces. Jean Cornwell's house was also destroyed, her urban tree sculpture of Jazz Musicians survived as it was already installed by the time of the fire, in downtown San Diego.

August 12, 2010 - Bob Archer passed away during the night.

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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