Monday, August 24, 2020

Puzzle Success Again

 It's been weeks since I posted anything to this blog.  Mostly because I had nothing to write about.  We have had a lot of hot weather, high humidity, etc.  Covid has pretty much shut down the art world.  My main concern right now is getting ready for the fall semester, assuming that happens- these days one never knows.  There have been a lot of trainings, and more to come.

However one thing I can do and have done is continue work on the puzzles.  Not making new ones for the moment, but trying out the prototypes and seeing if they work and what we need to do next. Part of my research will involve my brother and his family.  The first puzzle I assembled was of my imagined view (partly from actual photos, partly made up) of one of our favorite miniature golf courses from our youth. The actual miniature golf course was wiped out by a nor'easter decades ago, but I was given a vintage photo of it (70's) several years ago and used that as a starting point for one of my boardwalk prints. The place was on the Belmar boardwalk, although my version could have been anywhere, with many holes based on common miniature golf holes, and I have played in enough places to know how they are designed.  I knew the puzzle was complete but I am gathering opinions from people who are less subjectively involved in the process.  They were away for a while on vacation, but are back now.  So when I was invited over the other day for some pizza, I brought the puzzle in its box and invited them to try it out. Any information they can provide may be helpful, such as opinions on the design, size, number of pieces, etc.  These are all things that Jenny and I need to figure out before we try to produce and market it.

Another design we tried in this first batch is more recent, from my Vesuvio print earlier this year.  Like the miniature golf pieces, bright and colorful with interest to local people.  This one came from a different company, so that is one thing we have to evaluate.  I had no deadlines to meet last night, so I decided to try and finish the thing, which I had been working on off and on since finishing the first one.

A much smaller box than the other boardwalk puzzles, but the puzzle itself is about the same size. This is one of the things we have to consider.  I liked the image when I cut the block, so that hasn't changed. As with the boardwalk prints, the image has reproduced well.  Objects with bold colors and patterns work well in this format, which I believe is how Jenny got the idea. and why I photographed this non-boardwalk image and sent it to her for consideration.  I started assembling this one just after I finished the first one, but power issues and trainings created delays.  

My art skills helped here.  I'm good at matching colors.  In areas with solid colors and patterns, I could use shapes of individual pieces to match the pieces of the same color, as in the ceiling and back wall.  The preponderance of turquoise, so much a part of the decor of the place, became a minor challenge- the problem of finding where in the design a particular piece would go.  And the small box image didn't help with some of those details, but I have the original print to look at.  As I expected, the further I got, the faster it got, as I had fewer options as to where pieces might go. 

So this is done now, and it worked- the right number of pieces and complete.  When my brother finishes the first one, I'll have him try this one (he knows the restaurant well, and his wife was a big fan).  In our brief conversation the other night he and his wife did not favor the idea of very large pieces (as in children's puzzles) but we'll see how they feel after they start to assemble them.  As with the miniature golf course, the place is long gone, now just a memory, and a jigsaw puzzle. 


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