PACKAGING jigsaws in wine boxes and turning local artworks into puzzles is part of an Australian company’s push to be part of the re-emerging pastime.
Edge of Glory is a company from South Australia that aims to repopularise jigsaw puzzles by encouraging people to replace the generic $40 wine bottle gift with the family-friendly social activity.
Jigsaw puzzles have been making a comeback in recent years as families look to move back to more social activities and away from screens. Sales of games and puzzles in the United States grew by 18 per cent from 2015 – 2016.
Edge of Glory co-founder and self-professed jigsawpreneur Guy Turner said people needed to recuperate after a hard day at work and he felt puzzles were a great social activity and relaxation tool.
He said the designs were made to “stray away from the generic landscape paintings and Van Gogh impressions” by using art from local South Australian artists only.
“A couple of years ago adult colouring books were all the rage so people could slow down and do it and we see a similar thing happening with this, but you can do it with more people,” he said.
“What we are aiming for is to set them at a five out of 10 on the difficulty scale, requiring people to use both shape and image recognition to complete the puzzle. It’s the perfect way for people to connect, relax and unwind.”
Turner and his wife Natascha decided to apply the mantra of Apple’s Steve Jobs that great packaging makes the product and opted for a champagne-style box.
Each box measures 30 x 15 x 15cm and is built to be sturdy enough to be mailed as a gift.
The 1000-piece puzzles feature artistic images, which are also printed on a satin paper scroll inside for reference.
Edge of Glory was named after pop-star Lady Gaga’s hit single and has sold about 100 sets to date.
Martyn Mills-Bayne is a lecturer in early childhood education at the University of South Australia.
He said puzzle solving was an effective cognitive development tool that helped children and adults improve their motor function and spatial awareness.
Mills-Bayne said it was also a highly beneficial social pastime that helped children develop relationships and collaborative problem solving skills.
“Puzzles are great for the whole family because young children can really gain from working with adults,” he said.
“There still might be a competitive nature to it but the collaborative nature of it means everyone wins because there’s a shared goal whereas board games often result in a winner and a loser.
“Increasingly we are looking at children becoming 21st century learners where there is a focus on them needing to learn more critical and creative thinking skills.
“The ability to sit down for a sustained time with support from adults in complex cognitive challenges is something that develops those skills.”
Edge of Glory currently has two puzzle designs available on its website and is in the process of producing a second batch with designs from Western Australian street artists in the middle of the year.