Gorgeous 3-D animal puzzles crafted from cherry, walnut and exotic woods such as zebrawood and paduak, are abound in the workshop of craftsman Peter Chapman.
After spending some time making custom furniture and adding other bits of the woodwork to his collection to sell at craft fairs, Peter began making puzzles. His puzzles outsold all his other offerings and he hasn’t looked back. No wonder, as his puzzles are truly works of art!
The animal shapes are first cut and carefully sanded before they are puzzled. When he is ready, and without first making a single mark on the wooden form, Peter skillfully uses a bandsaw to cut out the puzzle pieces, rotating the wooden animal with each cut. A small wooden dowel, functioning also as the animal’s eye, locks the puzzle into place. It is the first piece to be removed and the last piece to be replaced. After the cuts have been completed, rough edges are sanded and the puzzle is finished with two coats of tung oil.
Peter takes great care in selecting the perfect wood for each animal. The wood must be strong, and not have a tendency to burn with sanding, but above all the look of the wood must suit the animal. The wood must be just right, to look natural and allow the animal a life of its own.
The most wonderful features of Class Menagerie Puzzles however, are the small hidden surprises within each puzzle! A stunning walnut moose is taken apart to reveal her lunch of branch and leaves, while a leopardwood piranha reveals a slightly more gruesome lunch, a severed finger! A stunning leopardwood giraffe, maple polar bear and cherry horse all reveal the next generation, tiny babies hidden safely within!
Class Menagerie Puzzles are wonderful presents for children 5 to 105! Beautiful to look at and a joy to play with, they are all works of art! – Belinda, Staff Writer