Made in the UK: or, a very good idea.

The irony is it all started with a ginger cat. You know how something brews away at the back of your mind and then all of a sudden motivation strikes and good things happen? Well, one day, in a bookshop in Aldeburgh, a thought struck me.

I saw a wooden jigsaw in a window. It was from Orlando, the Marmalade cat by Kathleen Hale. And I thought. I could do that I thought.

orlando

So, I looked on the web and checked out the manufacturer and I sent an email. Wentworth’s Wooden Puzzles. Five weeks later I took delivery of beautiful jigsaws, made in the UK, to sell at Art in Action next week.

catwhimsies

Beautiful wooden jigsaws that I have been playing with with friends over a few weeks.

fav jigsawing ele hares bookjigsaw cleart

The jigsaws compliment the books, from the tiny 40 piece ones, that take about 30 minutes to do unless you are a jigsaw wizz, to the very expensive limited edition 1 500 piece jigsaws ( price on application: email me). The larger jigsaws, from 250 upwards, come in a cloth bag, lovely box, all sourced in the UK. And the jigsaws have wonderful Wentworth Whimsies.

doing

I gave one to Karin, Mother of Mary as a late birthday present and she and Emily (Mary’s sister) did it together. She said it was wonderful to just stop rushing around and focus on building a picture. She sent me photographs of their progress.

emilydidit whimsies doneit emilybearandhare

My hope is that people will buy them, for themselves, as presents, for teachers when they leave school, to say thank you, just to say I love you, to make together, to take to supper parties, to thank staff for wonderful work, for all kinds of occasions.

There are many people I know who have a secret passion for jigsaws. Robin Hobb for one. It’s an unusual and innovative way to promote books, indie bookshops and also to get more space in bookshops for my books.

So, here are some of the jigsaws. My hope is that independent bookshops will take them up and run with them. My sister wants to buy the small ones to give as gifts when she goes out for supper. The larger ones are perfect for doing together as a family. A tiny jigsaw and a copy of the accompanying book make that perfect present. And there is a problem, because they are addictive. Once you have one you want more. Once you do the small ones a few times, you want the bigger ones. And the bigger ones take a good deal more time.

So far you can find them in:

Heffers in Cambridge

heffers1 heffers3 heffers4

Cover to Cover in Mumbles, Swansea

ctc maryshare

Book-ish, Crickhowell

The Hedgehog Bookshop, Penrith

Coming soon, I think, to Solva Woollen Mill.

If you are an indie bookshop/gallery/giftshop and want to sell them contact Wentworth’s jigsaws, and when you get them in let me know and I will add you to the list.

I love my jigsaws and working with Wentworths is a pleasure. Now, I’m off to pick one to keep and do. Maybe see you at Art in Action next week?

At some point we are going to have a speed contest of who can do the Dragon Egg Hatchlings jigsaw the fastest. For now here are a couple of jigsaw films from Celestine and the Hare:

 

 

So, I decided to product test the jigsaws, step sideways from work, relax, unwind.

First I chose a jigsaw. Little Red, Reading to the wWolves. Originally painted for Kids Need to Read, they used it in their calendar and then made a wonderful print, still available to buy.

Then I opened the box.2

 

3

 

With a pile of pieces in front of me I turned the hour glass and settled down to peaceful picture building.

One hour later and I was finding things a bit tricky.

4

Another hour in and all the ‘easy bits’ were done. With Wentworths there is no such thing as an easy bit.

5

In this one all the whimsies are wolves, and I have had another idea. I want to draw the whimsie shapes too, to make them even more bespoke.

There is something masochistic in the pleasure to be gained from piecing together a difficult jigsaw. There is a sense of satisfaction in fitting a piece in. I am hoping to bring about a revival of the jigsaw, although I think Wentworths are ahead of me there. I want these jigsaws to be the new 50 Shades of Gray. They are, after all, very sexy.

7

 

 

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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10 Responses to Made in the UK: or, a very good idea.

  1. aquamarynqa says:

    They are so beautiful, the rabbit puzzle with those little floral and animal pieces is simply stunning! Is there a possibility to buy them online?

  2. Karin says:

    I have always had a secret passion for jigsaws but these ones are just, well, it is hard to put in to words. You get lost. Lost in a world of beauty and puzzlement. There is the joy of doing something challenging and difficult with the funny pieces that are edges but not edges and edge pieces with no edge on them. I like the challenge. But then you have the beauty. the feel of the pieces – they are heavy and solid and smooth. The shapes are interesting and strange. And then the whimsies. My child like delight of finding a squirrel or two strange shapes I couldn’t work out that were a fox when put together. And then the little lines carved in some pieces I puzzled over for a long time. And then at the end I saw they were the legs of a fly from a whimsy piece. Wow. The detail is just something else. And the icing on the cake is the art work. I love these paintings already and I thought I knew them, but the absolute quiet bliss of looking at a patch of blue, the most beautiful blue and the brush stroke of a twiddly bit so elegant. I got lost in pieces. The little one was fun to do but the 250 piece one, well I spent hours savouring each piece. I had not noticed the tiny spot of red on the hare before. The eye, the detail, the flash of white on the neck, the… oh you get the idea. You are studying art in a new way as you are not lost in the whole painting but a fragment of detail and you can see the colour and detail that is and should be lost when added to the whole. A little moment of calm and beauty and, yes, to be still and focussed and lose the world around you. I am addicted. I need them all.
    The 40 piece one was great fun with dinner with a bunch of teenagers. Paired up races. They love them. Adults love them. Though I noticed that often people would pick up a piece and then just stop. And get lost in the beauty for a second…. time stops.
    Thank you Jackie and Wentworths for giving me a moment of breath holding beauty and a challenge for my brain that uses logic to solve puzzles and this defies logic and hence are a lot lot lot harder than usual ones. Took me the same time to do the 250 piece one as a 1000 normal jigsaw.
    I’ll shut up. I’ve waxed lyrical enough now…. but I could go on….

  3. Judy says:

    The puzzles are beautiful, Jackie; and unusual and sensual…….
    And isn’t Mary a grand salesperson? I think the two of you
    will sell out at Art in Auction….

  4. Julie O'Rafferty says:

    The Little Red Reading to the Wolves is divine ! Will I be able to get some sent to Australia ?
    I’m also very tempted to ask about the 1,500 piece jigsaw too
    I think I will have a very hard time choosing one, all the art you chose is beautiful and very soothing too

    • Jackie says:

      The big ones are £200 Not sure what that is in Dollars, but yes, Anna will be stocking them and she will ship anywhere on the planet. Even to the Antarctic!

  5. They are beautiful! A most excellent idea!
    x

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