Monday, August 16, 2010

Unusual (and Really Cool) Conference for Puzzle Enthusiasts

This past week/weekend, we had a really unusual (and I think really COOL) group in the hotel. The name of the conference was "Puzzle Parley" and before you think anything about it based on the name, you need to learn a bit more.

First, these are all artists and artisans. All of their work is hand-done, and terrific. People came from all over the US, as you can see in their blog post that I have quoted at the end of my post. Their work is spectacular in its intracacies, beauty, and detail.

They usually meet once every 18 months or so, but they had such a good time in Salem this year (their first time here) that they are perhaps going to return next year. I am so excited about this possibilitybecause this is such an interesting group. I hope if they do return that we can have a time where the general public can come and see their work, and perhaps purchase some of these very unique items.

These photos above and the two below are of puzzles by Platinum Puzzles of Canaan, NH. Their website is

The puzzles above are by Jigsaw Art Puzzles. Their website is

This puzzle was the showpiece of the event. It is by Bob Stokes, and is valued at $25,000. A masterpiece of puzzles, I really wish you could see it in person. Amazing!

Puzzle Parley Highlights from Salem MA
The 10th "Puzzle Parley" was held this weekend at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA.....Witchcraft and sorcercy abound in Salem and carried into the truly was a magical event!!!.......Bob Armstong and Melinda Shebell, with Kelly Taylor did a wonderful job of organizing the event...ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!there were 108 people who attended, the largest ever....puzzle heads came from far and near...HI, OR, WA, IL, TX, AZ, GA, FL, CA, NY, NJ, RI,DC, MA, NH, CT, OH, PA, MO, LA, NC, NV, VA (hope i didn't foget anybody!!) ......cutters, collectors and enthusiast's.....on friday, sue and i toured the salem area, including all the witch shops and took a tour of the "house of the seven gables".......salem has a beautiful waterfront area.....everything was within walking distance from the hotel..we met on friday evening for a cocktail reception and buffet dinner....and the food was terriffic at the hotel.....meeting up with the other puzzlers was really easy....everybody was so friendly and warm......then we adjourned to "puzzling in the library".....Saturday Morning was gorgeous.....bright sunshine and time to "get the party started!!"....first on the agenda was the "cutters conversation"......what was so amazing about this, was that you could ask any question and a lot of the top cutters in the country were there to answer your, how cool is that!!!!!all i can say, being a newbie (1 year) cutter is that everyone would share any and all information....there were talks on collecting, a puzzle mega website, then on to show and tell.....what some cutters are doing with puzzles, will blow your mind!!Saturday night dinner in the hotal was very good with John Stokes, of Custom Puzzle Craft in san diego calif, as the keynote speaker.....if you have not seen john's work, the 100 puzzle project, please go to his website.....his puzzle shapes are spectacular and i had the pleasure to watch him cut some shapes on saturday.the Parely was un-believable!!!!...

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