puzzles

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Design Food

Assemble a Meal Bite-by-Bite with This Scrumptious Series of Jigsaw Puzzles

April 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Areaware

A new project from Areaware lets you whip up a big bowl of tonkatsu ramen, a Chicago-style hot dog, and a sprinkle-topped cupcake without making a mess in the kitchen. The design company, which has offices in Brooklyn and Columbus, released nearly 30 tasty main courses, snacks, and party supplies as part of its little puzzle thing collection. Each slice of pepperoni pizza and cherry pie is about 70 pieces, so you might want to pick up a few if you’re a fast cook. And if you’re looking for more modern puzzles to keep you busy during quarantine, check out our Etsy picks.

 

 



Design

Eight Modern Puzzles, Games, and Creative Kits to Keep You Busy and Offline

April 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

If you’re on the internet these days—since you’re reading this, we’ll guess you are—you’ve seen countless lists outlining shows to watch, books to read, and craft projects to undertake to distract yourself for an hour. You probably saw our Skillshare picks, too.

Today, we’re inspired by Jackie Buddie over at Etsy to gather activities that require no internet connection because we know how it goes: you mean to listen to that audiobook you just downloaded, but all of a sudden, you’re back on Twitter devouring bad news and realizing that you need to plant a victory garden. In an effort to distract your hands and your mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite games, puzzles, and kits currently available on Etsy. Another perk? You’ll support artists with your purchases, too.

Part toy and part wildlife painting, these brightly colored puzzles from Saint-Paul based artist Megan Bakke are appropriate for small children and beautiful enough to be displayed once complete. Each set is divided into large chunks that form delicately feathered flamingos and emus and detailed portraits of gorillas and llamas.

 

We’re loving these modern dominoes and geometric puzzle pieces from Montreal-based Jonathan Dorthe. Using a series of lined shapes, the wooden puzzle doesn’t have a strict formation and can be arranged to create a rectangle, a house, or any of the other 36 combinations. On the dominoes, each concentric hexagon represents a dot. Finally learn the rules to the game or simply line them up and watch them tumble one-by-one.

 

Illustrated by Barbara Dziadosz, these colorful playing cards feature kings, queens, and jacks decked out in modern garb. A heads up if you’re in the U.S., though: the Germany-based artist says your shipment might be delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.

 

For those looking for a solitary activity, Dziadosz also creates these woodblock stamps designed to shape robots and other geometric creatures, depending on their combination.

 

An actual trip to the lake or woods—not to mention outer space—might not be feasible right now, but these model kits by the Portland-based shop Houha Designs provide a small escape. All you need is glue (the shop recommends Elmer’s) to fix each laser-cut piece to the next to create a fishing boat, fire tower lookout, or circular spaceship.

 

An impressive upcycle by Calgary-based designer Adrian Martinus, this cribbage board is made from old hardwood and repurposed skateboards. Detailed with chevron and stripes, the classic game comes with nine metal pegs that are stored separately.

 

Correctly assembling all 500 pieces of this varicolored, impressionist puzzle is sure to be meditative. Titled “Moonlight Over Euclid,” the abstract landscape jigsaw is based on a painting by Milwaukee-based artist Karen Williams-Brusubardis.

 

 

 



Design Illustration

Connect the Dots to Reveal Animated Figures and Illusions in New Flipbook Set

February 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

Mimicking Connect the Dots puzzles, a new pair of flipbooks released by Flipboku reveals jumping characters and spinning geometric shapes. Created by the animation studio Zumbakamera, Dots & Lines is made of up two books by the same name—Dots features animations, while Lines unveils optical illusions—that utilize the technique of the classic game to create six different sequences that span the entirety of the book, depending on thumb placement. Flipping the book and positioning a thumb at the top, middle, or bottom of the books’ edges determines which animation the viewers see.

“With Dots & Lines, we’ve taken a 150-year-old medium and turned it up a notch, combining the popular dot-to-dot puzzle game with the original flipbook format,” said Flipboku co-founder Julie Reier. “It’s given life by gradually transforming the numbers into mind-boggling optical illusions and animated cartoon characters, ranging from astonishing to laugh-out-loud funny.” Get the latest on the live Kickstarter project on Instagram and YouTube.

 

 



Design

Spiral Jigsaw Puzzles of Ammonite Fossils and Nautilus Shells from Nervous System

November 19, 2019

Christopher Jobson

The team over at Nervous System, known for their brilliant work with generative design applied to jewelry and home wares, have just released a new series of spiral puzzles. Instead of working from the outside in, or in sections, the puzzles are meant to be pieced together in a swooping spiral in the shape of an ammonite fossil or nautilus shell. The puzzles are made-to-order in New York from laser cut wood and contain a variety of whimsy pieces like octopi and seahorses. See more in their shop.

 

 



Art

Surprising Juxtapositions of Mass-Produced Puzzles Produce Surreal New Scenes

November 20, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“Iron Horse”

Artist Tim Klein takes advantage of the widely used die-cut patterns for jigsaw puzzles to form hybridized montages that combine two unexpected images. By carefully selecting pieces from puzzles with complementary patterns yet surprisingly different subject matter, he creates wild new visuals. In one montage, an old-fashioned locomotive takes the place of a powerful horse torso, while in another, the cylindrical shape of an icy-cold beer fills in for the stocky body of a teddy bear toy.

Klein credits Mel Andringa with inspiring his own puzzle pursuits, and shares with Colossal, “For me, the use of ordinary, mass-produced puzzles is essential to the surreal feel of the artwork. As I visit garage sales and secondhand stores in search of vintage puzzles, I sometimes feel like an archaeologist discovering and ‘reconstructing’ strange, shattered images whose shards have been languishing in dark boxes on the shelves of suburban game room closets for decades.”

Klein, who formerly worked as a computer scientist, lives in Vancouver, Washington. If you like these mash-ups, check out Alma Haser’s custom puzzle designs which combine and interchange the facial features from identical twins. You can see more of Klein’s combined creations on his website. (via Kottke)

“The Mercy-Go-Round (Sunshine and Shadow)”

“To Make Much of Time (Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May)”

“The All-Seeing Elephant”

“Surrogate”

“Mountain Plantation”

“Thaw (Warm Breath on a Winter Window)”

“Sphinx”

“Daisy Bindi”

 

 



Art Photography

Puzzling Portraits of Identical Twins by Photographer Alma Haser

November 29, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

In her latest series, German photographer Alma Haser combines the portraits of several pairs of twins by literally puzzling their images together. Haser first photographs each twin separately, then prints their corresponding photograph onto a 500 or 1000-piece puzzle. Finally, Haser painstakingly switches every other piece to create two works that are an equal combination of each sibling.

In earlier works in the series Haser only switched the twins’ faces, rather than melding their entire portraits. In the side-by-side images of the the twin brothers below it is difficult to tell if anything is swapped, unless you narrow your focus to the subjects’ eyes.

Haser recently contributed a few portraits from this series to the group exhibition The Body Issue: Human Stories at NOW Gallery in London. You can see more of her portraiture involving twins on her website and Instagram, and shop select prints on her online store. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 

 

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