Who hasn't ever been fascinated by puzzles? And it is that we have all seen a huge puzzle decorate a wall, with its thousands of perfectly aligned pieces. And we have not been able to do more than admire them with our mouths open.
Interestingly, this happened to us both as adults and children...The puzzle attracts, but do we know why?What is the reason that draws our attention in a powerful way to these small works of art?
In this article we will briefly review the history of puzzles. From its stone origins, to the most innovative puzzles, designed on 3d printers.
Come with me and discover the secrets behind one of the most timeless pastimes, THE PUZZLE
ORIGINS OF THE PUZZLES
And it is that already in the first societies, fitting together pieces that seemed to be able to be joined in a natural way, without apparently being part of a primitive whole, called the attention of our predecessors. In some sites, such as caves, grouped accumulations of small pieces of stone that formed ornamentation have been detected. Without a doubt, demonstrating that need to complete the fragments.
The human being innately seeks to achieve a logical whole from fragments. They were rather the first puzzles, a kind of child's game, stackable cubes in paleolithic format.
With this predecessor on the horizon, societies evolve and the need to survive in caves gave way to agriculture, crafts...and thus, a diversification of time.
The members of these ancient civilizations could already have their own time, and not necessarily subsist. With this free time, the first forms of leisure are born, and certain games become part of this investment of free time.
Although this first germ had been planted for centuries, it was not until the 18th century that John Spilsbury accidentally created what we now know as the first modern puzzle. Spilsbury, was a teacher, and after pasting a map on a wooden board, he decided to cut out certain countries, so that he could then teach his students by filling in those gaps until all the pieces fit together: the first modern puzzle was born.
But it wasn't until 1900 that jigsaw puzzles became a trend with high society offering jigsaw puzzles as a kind of attraction for their guests. These were still far from being like the modern puzzles we know today, and their assembly was extremely complicated.
The parts assembly system was through the so-called “push-fit” system. The pieces were basically held by pressure against each other, rather than fitting together. This made the old puzzles extremely delicate, since any light hit could ruin hours of assembly, because the pieces literally jumped out of their place.
An added handicap at the time was that the puzzles did not have the visual guide support to follow during assembly. The box used to put a suggestive title, which the user had to imagine when assembling. Thus, a puzzle entitled "spring under the sun" could be a drawing of a field of daisies
Little by little, assembly techniques have been modernized, printing systems have improved quality, and today, we can find high-quality puzzles of almost any theme and size.
THE BEST PUZZLES ARE THE ONES THAT DON'T FIT
Never has a phrase from a song made so much sense for the world of puzzles and, in the case of the singer Beret, in the heartbreaks that concern us so much).
A puzzle that doesn't fit, that supposes a mental challenge for us, that almost forces us to hit one piece against another out of pure frustration, ends up being hypnotic, and the greater is the challenge of "that puzzle that doesn't fit" more satisfactory is when we achieve it
There is a puzzle that almost anyone passionate about these hobbies knows, which is famous for the frustration it can cause in those who try to assemble it. This basically consists of an image of a field of identical white flowers, with no other reference than the edges of the snowy petals. No more
We might think it's impossible, but as the title says… The best puzzles are the ones that don't fit! You cannot imagine the personal satisfaction that comes from the moment you place the last piece of this devilish puzzle.
So don't lose your patience.
HOW TO MAKE A PUZZLE AND NOT DESPAIR
In order not to despair when making a puzzle, you must follow a series of rules and guidelines for assembling it.
We do it in the following way, this is just how we do it, so find your own way to do it and that is comfortable for you
First, find a large, clear, stable, flat site. If you have an empty table that you can hog for several days better.
Once this is done, place a base of foam board or marquetry wood, which will serve as a base in case we want to finish it off by gluing and framing it.
After this, empty the contents of the bag, and turn all the pieces so that they are face up. During this process, we recommend that you separate all the edges and corners. You will see which pieces are by the completely flat side without indentations that it has. Leave them in an accessible and well visible place because it will be your first mounting reference.
Once you have all the pieces in place, just find the edges, and with the guidance of the box image, begin to form the frame or boundary of the puzzle. Try to do it on wood or foam board.
And now all that remains is to be patient, and focus on specific areas.
Look for a characteristic point that is close to the edges and join the groups of pieces in that area, you will see that little by little whole areas of the puzzle are formed... now be patient.
You should keep in mind that puzzles with thousands of pieces are usually tasks that take many hours, or even days, to complete, so be aware of the use of time. DON'T WANT TO FINISH IT IN A WHILE, BECAUSE YOU WILL FAIL.
HOW TO FINISH A PUZZLE BY GLUING IT
Giving a quality finish, and making our puzzle obtain adequate resistance, so that after assembling it, being able to transport it or use it to decorate, is one of the concerns of any fan of assembling puzzles. Here we leave you the steps to follow, in a simple and illustrative way:
1. Protects the work surface of the Puzzle
Since we will be working with glues and glues, it is recommended that you protect the work surface with old newspapers or similar to prevent furniture from being damaged.
2. Place the puzzle in position
If you followed our advice, you will have assembled your puzzle on a foam board or similar. It's time to move it to the protected work table and position it for finishing.
3. Prepare the puzzle glue and pour it:
We will use a specific glue for puzzles, it is very similar to white glue, although its main advantage is that it completely disappears when it dries, it leaves no trace and the union it provides is very solid. Stir the contents of the pot well, and start pouring it over the puzzle, making sure that it is fairly well distributed over its puzzle surface.
4. Spread the puzzle glue with a soft brush.
Get a brush with soft hair, which will avoid leaving marks or brushstrokes on our puzzle, and distribute it well over each piece and join our special glue Make sure there are no areas without glue
5. Smooth the surface of the puzzle
Using a plastic card, an old ruler, or solid cardboard, we will drag the excess glue towards the edges, to eliminate that excess that can make the final result not the desired one. Don't worry that the whole puzzle will be whitish and ugly, but once the glue dries, voila...PERFECT PUZZLE and solidly attached.
6. Let the puzzle glue dry
Before it is completely dry, we must take it off the work surface, to prevent the newspapers from sticking. Leave it in a ventilated place to finish the process.
7. Move the puzzle to a new area
Before the puzzle is completely dry, we separate it from the newspapers that we have put underneath, since removing the glue towards the edges can make it stick.
8. Your puzzle is ready to hang or decorate safely
FRAMING A PUZZLE THE EASY WAY
Once we have done the steps that we have indicated previously, we will be able to move our puzzle safely. Many choose to simply hang them on the wall, as a poster or decorative sheet, but if you want to give a room or office a touch of class, the best option is to frame the puzzle. Photo studios, art supply stores, and similar businesses typically provide a framing service. You can check rates at your local business.
The second option, and which is somewhat cheaper, is to go to a multi-product store, or Amazon, and buy a frame with the measurements of our puzzle. This must be 1 cm larger per side than the size indicated on the box, since if we buy one of the exact same measurements, we run the risk that the puzzle will not fit correctly.
Once we have the frame, the process is simple: on a flat and wide surface, we turn the frame over, remove the back part, and thanks to our foam board, we place the puzzle in the frame. Once this is done, the time has come to remove that work base, and close the framework.
These picture frames with puzzles are ideal anywhere, and you can choose a suitable puzzle for the area you want to decorate.
The world of puzzles is really wonderful, and we assure you that whoever enters this universe cannot escape. In this article we have discovered some of the best kept secrets of puzzles, from their origins, to construction techniques, and conservation. I hope you find it useful!!
Don't stop building