Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 29, 2020

Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles

(4 Minute Read)

Do you remember working wooden puzzles as a child?

Have you ever seen an adult wooden jigsaw puzzle?

January is National Puzzle Month, and today, January 29, is National Puzzle Day. Every year January 29 is celebrated as National Puzzle Day to promote the enjoyment of all types of puzzles — jigsaws, crosswords, sudoku, cross sums, mazes, math puzzles, mechanical puzzles, logic puzzles, pattern puzzles, picture puzzles, acrostics, anagrams, chess problems, and many more. Scads of puzzles of many different kinds abound, but this blog post focuses on wooden jigsaw puzzles for adults.

Both jigsaw puzzles featured in this blog were manufactured by the Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company Ltd. Wentworth has a large selection of wooden jigsaw puzzles for reasonable prices.

Cottage Jigsaw Puzzle

Here is “Rustic Retreat,” a wooden jigsaw puzzle I worked recently. The puzzle has 140 pieces and measures 9.75” x 6.75”.

“Rustic Retreat” by Claude Strachan

The original source for the puzzle image is an oil painting by Scottish artist Arthur Claude Strachan (1865-1935). He is best known for his paintings of English cottages with overgrown gardens and rustic figures. He traveled throughout Great Britain painting country life.

Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

The two wooden jigsaws pictured in this post share three characteristics that are common in adult wooden jigsaw puzzles but which are not usual for cardboard puzzles.

First, if you remember wooden puzzles from your childhood, you may recall how the pieces fit together quite loosely. This is also the case with the adult wooden puzzles I have worked. The pieces fit loosely — not snugly as cardboard pieces usually do. As a result, it is sometimes harder to decide whether a piece fits in a particular spot or not.

Second, the puzzles have a random cut instead of a ribbon cut. In a ribbon cut puzzle, all the pieces are slight variations of a similar blocky shape with knobs or holes on each of four sides. These relatively uniform pieces form a grid, lining up in rows and columns. Ribbon cuts are common for cardboard puzzles. In contrast, random cut puzzles, such as these wooden puzzles, have irregularly shaped pieces with no two pieces alike. The pieces may be long or short, wide or narrow, curved or straight, triangular or rectangular. Any shape may occur for a piece, and pieces are usually not arrayed in a row/column grid. Conventional corner pieces often cannot be found. They are instead replaced by unexpected combinations of pieces. Straight-edged pieces may be found in the interior of the puzzle.

Third, wooden jigsaws feature whimsy pieces. Whimsy pieces are figurative or familiar shapes like animals, flowers, and household items. The whimsy pieces in the cottage jigsaw above included a chair, spade, music stand, wheelbarrow, and trowel. One edge piece was a tulip in which the very short straight bottom of the stem formed part of an edge. Look for a rabbit piece in the lower left region of the cottage puzzle.

Here is a picture of some of the unusual puzzle pieces from the train jigsaw puzzle (pictured further below) in their approximate positions. Notice that the upper left, lower left, and lower right corners are formed not by a single corner piece, but by two pieces abutting along a line bisecting the 90° corner angle; two pieces come together diagonally to form the corner. Notice pieces with straight edges in the interior. Whimsy pieces include a pipe wrench, hammer, pliers, railroad pump cart, flag on pole, microphone on stand, and wheelbarrow.

Wooden Jigsaw Pieces from Train Puzzle

Train Jigsaw Puzzle

Here is “Light Duties,” a second wooden jigsaw puzzle from Wentworth that I worked recently. The puzzle has 250 pieces and measures 10” x 14”.

“Light Duties” by Barry Freeman

The puzzle art is by Barry Freeman (1937-2017). He was a British landscape artist especially known for his detailed paintings of trains and railroads.

Creative Workmanship

For the Israelites’ worship tabernacle in the Old Testament, Yahweh told Moses that he had equipped and commissioned Bezalel for beautiful craftsmanship:
I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship. . . . in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of testimony, and the mercy seat upon it, and all the furniture of the tent, the table also and its utensils, and the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering also with all its utensils, and the laver and its stand, the woven garments as well, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, with which to carry on their priesthood. (Exodus 31:3-10)

This is reminiscent to me of the artists and craftsmen behind wooden jigsaw puzzles. Even though puzzles are neither supernaturally commissioned nor sanctified like the tabernacle, they have beautiful pictures, interesting patterns, and intriguing workmanship. A magnificent Creator designed those jigsaw artists and designers who in turn skillfully create, just as He equipped Bezalel and his colleagues in the days of Moses!

Jigsaw puzzles testify of artists, designers, and manufacturers behind them, just as all of nature testifies of the Great Creator who made it.

Questions to Ponder

1. What everyday objects show beauty and craftsmanship to evoke your admiration of the Great Creator?
2. In what everyday task can you apply diligence and attention so that you can point to a faithful Creator?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This blog article is the fourth in an intermittent Series on Jigsaw Puzzles.
Read the prequels:
1. Jigsaw Murder Mystery (with video)
2. Jigsaw Puzzles – Benefits
3. Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle

Read the sequel:
5. Jigsaw Puzzles – ??? (coming soon…)

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday January 29, 2020 A.D.

You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (1 Peter 2:5-6)

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  1. Very interesting article. Our lives are a puzzle sometimes, trying to get the pieces to fit. It can be really hard sometimes. I pray God wins out in the end in our lives.


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