Anonymous on May 31, 2013
Very enjoyable puzzle in all respects: subject matter, thick wooden pieces in interesting shapes and a perfect little wooden depiction of the large puzzle that's ideal for the dollhouse : )
Anonymous on May 18, 2013
This is a wonderful fine quality puzzle! The pieces slide together. I will enjoy it for many years to come!
Simple Things, Made With Care
When conversation stalled in my family growing up - especially during holidays - my mother would invariably suggest a jigsaw puzzle. We'd groan, but before long we'd all be feverishly looking for pieces. One of my favorite puzzles was an old wooden one with an image of songbirds on it. Building that old puzzle and learning the birds with my family had a long-lasting impact on me. As an adult, living in an age of electrons and mass-production, that wooden puzzle and the joy and memories I associate with it says something about the importance of simplicity.
I still have that wooden jigsaw puzzle. It's in an old coffee can my mom painted purple, and I'm sure it has been assembled at least once a year for the last forty years - now by my two daughters who will have their own memories of this puzzle. I don't know who made it or how old it is, though I know that wooden jigsaw puzzles became rare after the spread of cheap 'jigsaw' puzzles stamped out of cardboard. Of course, you can buy such mass-produced cardboard puzzles everywhere now, and that's what we are mostly familiar with. But, as a woodworker I had always wanted to make a wooden jigsaw puzzle by hand.
So, several years ago I bought a scroll saw and I tried making a puzzle. It did not go well. I didn't have the proper blades, and I didn't have the right wood, and.... I didn't know what I was doing. So I gave up on it for a time. It was urgency that brought me back. My family had decided to exchange only hand-made gifts for Christmas and, despite having no immediate prospect of success, I decided a wooden jigsaw puzzle was going to be my contribution. I practiced, and investigated scroll saw blades, and experimented with papers and glues and images, and finally made a puzzle I was quite proud of. It was of a quilted fish my daughter had painted, and my mom loved it.
Having caught the puzzle-making bug I continued in my quest for the perfect materials and I refined my skills. Everyone I know got a jigsaw puzzle of their face, or the family pet, or whatever. Now, both the old songbird puzzle in the purple coffee can and that first puzzle of a quilted fish look to me like someone cut them out with their feet.
It was at about this time that I became aware of Etsy and the possibility that I could bring the new world of electrons together with the old world of traditional jigsaw puzzles. I knew that if I was going to be selling puzzles I would have to go even further into researching the best materials and methods. I spent nearly a year experimenting with different papers (the edge will fray from the saw blade if you choose the wrong one) and glues (I settled on a book-binder's glue that is strong and archival) and finishes (too shiny and the pieces glare when you're building the puzzle) and woods. I bought countless sample boxes for packaging and taught myself how to do simple leather work so I could make straps to hold the boxes closed in style (I was inspired by old luggage). I found a family-run shop in California that makes gorgeous 'Chicago' screws out of solid brass. I researched felt to line the boxes with, and found an extra-thick acid free felt that is perfect. I even began bookkeeping! In short, I went a little overboard to produce the best puzzles I could, and I'm really proud of what I make.
When it came time to chose a shop name, I remembered that old wooden puzzle that got me started and settled on Warbler. I hope you enjoy browsing my selection of puzzles here and that you also understand that simple things that are made with care can be a focus of memories over a whole lifetime.
I was probably born into the wrong century. But I’m making my way in this one the best I can, as a college professor and a maker-of-things-by-hand.
You may contact me via Etsy, or at <email@example.com>
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Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
If you are a resident of Arizona, state sales tax will be added to your purchase.
Each puzzle is carefully packaged for shipment, and I use delivery confirmation.
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