My hubby and I love jigsaws. He used to do them as a child, and a few thousand-piece ones decorate his parental home. One of my early brushes with jigsaws was a 500-piece MC Escher “Drawing Hands” black and white one that my classmates helped a friend complete for her boyfriend (heartless bloke, we subsequently found out – hope she took the jigsaw back. All our effort!) after our O Levels.
I never did really epic ones till I started work. My big big boss was a fan, and bought boxes to work, and made us train for competitions after office hours. The team she led came in third in a multi-organisation competition, and deservedly so!
We bought and completed some 4-5 thousand piece puzzles from the time we started dating, to the time we had children (actually I finished a thousand-piece MC Escher black and white piece a day before delivering my first child).
We did a thousand-piece Van Gogh Night Cafe one, a 2000-piece Monet reversible one (waterlilies on one side and a garden scene on the other! probably our most challenging), a 2000-piece Keukenhof tulip garden one, and two MC Eschers (one of an illogical building, as well as another with tessellations called “Night and Day”.
|Night and Day, MC Escher|
We also entered two competitions (hubby and I in the same team, with another team mate). The first competition was a “mixed up puzzle” where the puzzle image was different from the box picture! That really threw us off kilter cos we hadn’t realised such jigsaws existed. The box picture was garbled, but there was a tiny image, smaller than a credit card that you could refer to on one side of the box. The second competition was a wildly colourful jukebox, but even that was easier. I’ve heard of puzzles where the edges are all smooth (they join together but do not ‘lock’ into place). Goodness!
Recently, there was a leftover box from a competition that my friends entered. Since it seemed semi-abandoned, I took it up quite obsessively. I managed to finish chunks of it in spurts, and finally finished the hardest sections (all the myriad shades of green) at one go.
What aficionados really appreciate is a good quality jigsaw. The one above was a Ravensburger, quite the Rolls Royce standard when it comes to puzzles. There is a satisfying crunch when the pieces fit in, and there is no nonsense of having more than one piece fit in any particular place. Every piece is unique.