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  • angela smith bespoke handmade jewellery

The Joy of Jigsaws

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

I would hazard a guess and say that almost everyone has enjoyed completing a jigsaw at some time.

I still remember with fondness some of my early childhood ones,

Some had large shapes cut on fairly thin card pieces, others were made on thick pieces of wood, the wood ones were my favourite, especially my farm yard one where the individual animals were cut out around the full shape and you had to complete the background part of the jigsaw first before putting the cow, sheep, hens, cockerel, horse, goat and pig in their correct hole.

I have grown up with jigsaws, I find them to be a great way to unwind and a distraction too as you are purely concentrating on the jigsaw

I even used jigsaws as part of my revision process for my Geography 'O' level As North America was a large chunk of my Regional Geography course. I used a 'jig map' of North America which had all the major city place names printed on cut outs that were placed into the completed jigsaw.

I still enjoy a challenging jigsaw when I have time, my favourites have to be the "Escher" series which are all black and white images of 'impossible constructions' that don't appear impossible at first glance until you look more closely at them, and then you realise that they are very clever optical illusions - if you are unfamiliar with his work please look it up!

How do you complete your jigsaws?

Are you like me?

I sort out all the outside edge pieces first and build the frame, Then I start on the inside pieces. If there is a sky to the jigsaw I usually leave that to last, If there is a sky line with a definite edge to the sky, such as mountains or cityscapes I will build the mountain edge or roof tops first and then maybe work on blocks of the same colour. I prefer not to look at the lid although sometimes I give in and have to check with it.

One of my Aunts used to make up her jigsaws with the picture facing down so she couldn't see the colours at all. Once completed she would back it with glue and mount them and then turn them over and see the picture for the first time , the completed puzzle would then be hung on her walls!

How long do you keep your jigsaws for?

If I enjoyed the puzzle I am happy to re do it another time so it is returned to the cupboard and will be enjoyed again a few years later! Others though go off to charity shops.

Uh Oh! There is a piece missing!!!!

Occasionally, a jigsaw piece goes missing, chewed by a dog or maybe found but placed back in a wrong puzzle box!

It is so irritating to get to the end of a puzzle to discover there is a piece missing especially after checking with family members to make sure they haven't hidden it so they can put the last piece in.

Please tell me I am not the only person who does that

Once there is a missing piece that jigsaw is no use to anyone anymore!

Well yes that is what I thought for years.

Then back in 2019 I made jewellery for an exhibition based using unwanted materials, I used bubblewrap, Christmas Cracker playing cards, wine corks, safety pins, newspaper, tissue paper, tea bags to make a variety of earrings and it occurred to me when I was making the jewellery for it that I could also use old jigsaw pieces and it so happened that I still had an old jigsaw with a couple of missing pieces that the dog had chewed, so perfect timing!

Not all the pieces were suitable for earrings but even so four years on, I am still working my way through that puzzle, with a few of the earrings currently available from my website Including these. To view more of my earrings and other items of jewellery created with materials that might otherwise have been thrown out please visit my Eco Aware section on my website


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