Project Log

THE MISSING PIECES

1. Introduction

This will be a smaller project log, but nonetheless very important for people being serious about details in life that most others ignore! Since childhood I've always loved building jigsaw puzzles. For studying tiny details, make sense of complex patterns and plain therapy. I've noticed how my patience with some things has dropped with age, but for some reason I can still spend hours in silence and concentration with a good jigsaw puzzle. I prefer puzzles in the 1000 piece range that can be completed in a qouple of evenings. Getting hold of good looking and fun to build puzzles these days though is hard as most manufacturers seem to prefer "artsy fartsy" and too perfectly composed pictures that is not nearly as fun and interesting to build as other ones being much less about artistic expression and providing more of an interesting mix of colors and patterns. Typically I enjoy recreating an everyday scene before a bunch of unicorns crashing into the waves under a starstruck rainbow sky! Or something like the puzzle below, a picture of a good old fashioned airplane that I picked up at a second hand store close to where I work. 500 pieces being a bit of a cakewalk for me, but a very pretty picture giving my brain a small break from other overly intellectualised (modern) entertainment.

The missing pieces

So what's this log all about then? Explaining how to build a jigsaw puzzle, well yes and no. I belive the most fundamental fear of any serious puzzle builder must be that of putting down the hours only to realize there is one or two pieces missing effectively making it impossible to finish the whole puzzle with any self respect and pride. It's like running a marathon only to be forced to quit twenty meters from the finish line despite having enough strengh left to easily make it. I would go so far to say the whole effort of building a puzzle becomes a total waste of time unless you get to place that final piece making the picture complete. The risk of this happening is very small with brand new puzzles, but quite tangible when buying them second hand. I had my suspicion quite early on as I was sorting out the pieces and could not find the shape of the little "landing-peg" at the tail of the airplane. Somewhat later I realised another piece of the top wing was also missing. I finished the puzzle anyway while thinking about this irritating problem and no sooner than later the solution hit me: Being an artist and avid model builder, why have I never tried to simply recreate the missing piece(s) of a jigsaw puzzle to make it complete? A tiny piece of wood, a digital camera, photoshop and a printer should be all I need, and which I also have readily available. So, I will recreate the missing pieces for this puzzle, reclaim my dignity and add a literal "outside the box" solution (get it?) to my repertoire.

The missing pieces

The process should be pretty straight forward. First I need to create the physical pieces and fit them into the puzzle, then I recreate the image for each piece on my computer, print them out, glue them onto the pieces and all my childhood problems should be resolved forever. Lets get started!

Continue to chapter 2. Creating the pieces