... on limited edition handmade puzzles.
I stumbled across Cubic Dissections in some of my random surfing for all things puzzling, and I liked what I saw – the stuff in the shop window was really gorgeous – handmade in small quantities by guys who clearly knew what they were doing ... only problem was, they were always sold out whenever I happened to surf on by.
One day, things looked a bit different – not only was there some new stuff in the window, but it looked like there was actually some in stock, so it didn’t take long to place an order for the first of my really high quality puzzles – Oskar’s Matchboxes made by Eric Fuller, he of Cubic Dissections-fame.
Designed by the legendary Oskar van Deventer (yes, he of the 17*17*17 Rubik’s cube fame!), Oskar’s Matchboxes are a set of oddly joined drawers and sleeves, offset a bit and connected at some pretty funky angles. The premise is simple: assemble the bits so that all the matchboxes are closed ... when you first start fiddling with them you find that there are a lot of ways to almost solve it – everything goes together so well until you find the last piece is offset the wrong way ... start again.
The craftsmanship on this puzzle is simply sublime – when you solve it, everything aligns perfectly and the fit between the drawers and the sleeves is ridiculously good – it’s clear that Eric is not only a craftsman, but a proud one. I like the fact that he signs and numbers each set – this guy really cares.
[Oh, and if you want to improve your chances of finding things in stock at Cubic Dissections, you really need to sign up for Eric's newsletter that will give you a little warning of impending new additions ... chances are you'll still need to get in early or you'll be left looking at what the others guys managed to pick up - yip that's personal experience talking there.]