I like puzzles as much as the next person, that is to say, they’re fun but they burn me out. My mom, on the other hand, loves them. She’s all Thomas Kincaid and house in the country style. It’s not so much my type. I find a lot of the art forgettable, which is why I think I was so drawn to the art used in Artifact Puzzles; while you can find puzzles using famous painting from Renoir, Degas and Monet, many of the puzzles are just as wonderful but a little less known. It’s incredibly unique and just looks nothing like your typical puzzle. In fact, nothing about these puzzles is typical, and I’d like to tell you a bit about them.
And so I worked out a review for them, gave them a few choices and they sent me a puzzle based on Sergey Tyuknov’s “Moon” painting. The name is pretty straightforward. The puzzles depicts a crescent moon, which is an intricate structure with layer upon layer of terrace. You really need to see for yourself. The blues and light browns work together so well. It’s.. different.
Artifact Puzzles are themselves different, too. These don’t come in a cardboard box. The puzzle arrives in an actual wooden box. The impression is one that is rustic and handmade but not in the “I threw this together with some Elmer’s glue and called it good” way. So many DIY products just seem cheap, but this isn’t the case with these puzzles.
To open the box, you slide the top off, pulling it toward you. There’s notches in the interior of the side panel where it fits. Because of this, the sides and back are slightly taller than the front of the box. It’s a consideration when wrapping for a gift but not the end of the world.
Inside the box are actual jigsaw pieces made of wood. They’re thicker than cardboard puzzle pieces, and they seem a little smaller. What really makes them stand out are the shapes. Artifact Puzzles use “whimsical shapes,” so you’re not just seeing the little keyhole cuts and rounded tabs. No, these puzzles have cutouts in the shape of stars. Some seem animal shaped. The pieces are, well, works of art.
There are 300 pieces in this puzzle, but it really seems like much more. The whimsical shapes mean some of them really very in size, as you can see in the above photo.
The other thing I noticed was just how well they’re cut. The folks at Artifact Puzzles use laser cutting instead of cheap blades, so all the pieces are fully cut away from one another perfectly. If you’ve ever put together a cheap puzzle, you know how the pieces might only be half cut, falling apart or ripped from the process. Artifact Puzzles are truly a cut above the rest. Har har.
My one complaint about this is the top of the box. There’s a little groove cut into it to give you leverage to pull it out. It works but it’s a little sloppy. I wouldn’t use a fingernail for fear of breaking it. A cleaning cut with defined edges would make it even better.
Still, you probably won’t be opening and closing it too often, so you may not even notice. It’s a small price to pay for an otherwise awesome product.
If it’s not good enough to put together a quality puzzle with unique designs, then maybe the fact that these puzzles are made in the U.S. will help convince you to buy them. For $60, you can buy this puzzle and make someone on your shopping list very happy, or just treat yourself!