The IPP is an amazing opportunity to meet puzzlers from around the world, chat to world-renowned collectors, designers and craftsmen about the things they love and share stories about puzzles and puzzling … and I’m sure I’ll be boring you senseless with stories from IPP for a while to come, but in the mean time, here’s the story behind my IPP gift…
|...all the prototypes|
My next attempt was foiled when the gent I was hoping could produce something unique for me ended up getting horribly over-stretched at work and totally unable to take on anything extra.
With a couple of weeks to go before IPP, my puzzling mate Louis goes off on holiday with his family and a couple of decks of cards, as you do. Louis had read my blog post on impossible card-folding and decided to have a bit of a bash himself while he was on holiday. Before long he was sending pictures of his work to a couple of us in emails and he’d produced some pretty impressive stuff, so I asked him if he might be interested in producing something for me to dish out at IPP.
He dived in enthusiastically and over the course of the next few evenings produced a couple of alternative designs that he’d email over and we’d discuss, and then a day or two later, some improved designs would arrive until about a week later – and having destroyed at least an entire suit, we’d more or less decided on the features to include and Louis went into fine-tuning mode.
He went out and bought a bunch of different types of playing cards so that he could experiment with designs on the different types of cards and it soon became apparent that not all decks of cards are created equal – and the one I’d thought most suitable turned out to be an absolute pig to work with, so it was dispatched to the junk pile.
We eventually settled on a standard blue-backed Bicycle poker deck and Louis sprang into action setting up a manufacturing process that roped in Mieke with Laura keen to help out as well …
In an attempt to work out how long the postage from Eindhoven to Barnt Green would take, Louis sent over a test package of the design candidates and there was a little bit of nervousness while we waited for the envelope to wander across the channel – and I have to admit that from time to time I had visions of them not getting here in time for me to take them along… but in the end, they got here in just less than a week, which meant that the real ones should all get here in time … even still, we split them into three separate shipments to reduce the risk of them all not making it.
|...in case you were wondering...|
I think that Louis has done a pretty awesome job on these – I think the design is clever and really shows off a couple of interesting little “features” to get the brain working a little – it’s one of those things you can glance at and totally miss some of the subtleties- so I’ve tried to highlight a couple of them in the close-up pics …