Heirloom-Quality Zen Puzzles!


Do you like doing jigsaw puzzles or know someone who likes doing jigsaw puzzles? Then we have something special to share with you…Zen Art Puzzles! Zen Puzzles are hand-designed, artisanal, heirloom-quality, birchwood jigsaw puzzles crafted with strikingly beautiful images, elegant designs and whimsical figural pieces. Zen Puzzles are created in western Massachusetts, using eco-friendly materials. The company contributes a portion of their profits to organizations working to improve the ecological sustainability of the earth and the quality of life for all its creatures.

Our store owner, Susan was especially drawn to the figural pieces found in the puzzles. As you see in the photo we took here in the store of the honeybees puzzle, several of the pieces are actually shaped like honeybees! The company places great importance on choosing and designing figural pieces in their puzzles to match each puzzles primary theme. These figural pieces are one of the major features that differentiate these premium, wooden jigsaw puzzles from die-cut cardboard puzzles. They also bring back special childhood memories for Susan.

During the Great Depression, Susan’s grandmother handmade wooden jigsaw puzzles using similar figural pieces. To make extra money for the family, Susan’s grandmother rented out what she called Red Box Puzzles (each puzzle was wrapped in a red box tied with twine). These puzzles were created using prints her grandmother found in Ladies Home Journal and other magazines of the time. The prints were glued to plywood. On the back of the wood, Susan’s grandmother would trace only figural designs onto her puzzles and then cut the finished puzzle on a jigsaw. Susan remembers there were ballerinas wearing tutus, lamps, ladies faces in profile, cats, dogs and so many other figural shapes. She also remembers that the puzzles were named to give the puzzler an idea of what the finished puzzle would be, but her grandmother provided no photo of the puzzle on the box! Very challenging!

Susan's grandmother also included an index card with each puzzle where puzzlers were asked to write their names and when they did the puzzle. Zen Puzzles does something similar. This is what gives the puzzles their heirloom quality. Just like Susan’s grandmother's puzzles have been shared with friends and family and handed down through generations, Zen Puzzles hopes their puzzle will be also.

Come in and browse the Zen Puzzle designs we’re carrying here at the store. Maybe you'll leave with a new family heirloom!!