Alongside reading, one of the major hobbies to have taken off in 2020 is doing the trusty jigsaw puzzle.
Puzzles have become incredibly popular this year, with the demand for puzzles rising during the coronavirus pandemic.
Millions of people are stuck indoors, and now the Winter is approaching, and we are less likely to spend time in the garden, the jigsaw puzzle is our new best friend.
It’s hardly suprising is it. The increase is to be expected. After all, we all need activities and hobbies that help calm our mind, that bring us some focus and help take our mind away from the events unfolding in the world right now.
Where does the Jigsaw Puzzle come from?
Well, The engraver and cartographer John Spilsbury, of London, is believed to have produced the first jigsaw puzzle around 1760, using a marquetry saw, according to Wikipedia.
How are Puzzles Beneficial to our Mind?
Working on puzzles reinforce the connections between our brain cells, so they are a great way to improve short-term memory. Completing a jigsaw puzzle helps us remember shapes, sizes, and pieces and visualize where they fit in – all good exercises for the brain.
One of the brain benefits of puzzles is that they increase the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, memory, and concentration.
Dopamine is released with every success as we solve the puzzle. No wonder puzzles are so much fun! (Imagine how much dopamine is released when you do a 1000 piece puzzle)
Puzzles as Art
For me, part of the draw in doing a puzzle is the finished article. I have to feel something for the jigsaw I’m creating, I have to love the image I’m trying to create.
And I’m sure that’s the same for many people.
So why not shop for puzzles which are created by independent artists.
You get a beautiful image, wonderfully created, and get to watch it evolve in front of your eyes piece by piece.
These are from Fine Art America, who create jigsaw puzzles from independent artists in both 500 and 1000 pieces.
Their jigsaw puzzles are made from 2″ thick paper stock and include a semi-gloss coating on the top surface to really make the image pop. Each puzzle includes a puzzle box with the art work printed on the top for safe storage, when you’re not puzzling.
They’re really beautiful aren’t they. You could even frame your jigsaw puzzle when you’re finished.
Jigsaw Puzzles as a Hobby
So how long does one typically spend on 500 piece puzzles? Well you can probably expect a jigsaw this size to take around 2-3 hours, particularly if you’re doing it with family or friends.
For the larger 1000 piece puzzles you’ll probably need up to around 10 hours to complete.
It’s a lovely, relaxing way to take your mind off the world, to focus on something intricate and detailed, and help your brain stay calm and quiet.
It’s also an activity the family can do together, so if the teenagers are bored, get them involved in your jigsaw puzzles for adults. You can even make a competition out of it.
Just don’t do as my family does, and hide crucial pieces from each other. It never ends well!
Now Fine Art America also allows you to create custom puzzles.
Select then upload your own image to their website and have it turned into your own jigsaw puzzle.
Choose from two different sizes: 18″ x 24″ (500 pieces) and 20″ x 28″ (1,000 pieces).
What a great Christmas gift!
So, tell me, do you enjoy doing a jigsaw puzzle, and do you ever turn them into artwork for your home?