By Joyce Whitis
This giant, one-of-a-kind jigsaw puzzle stretched across two enormous wooden tables, blocking entrance to the far side of David Stafford’s shop, making it impossible to look at anything else but what must be the masterpiece of puzzle creativity! The colors of the small pieces, 33,600 of them, is brilliant, creating a happy mood while studying the monkeys, elephants, colorful birds, trees, vines, flowers and other vegetation all put together by finding the places for those thousands of small pieces of cardboard. It looks like what the Garden of Eden must have looked like.
“It took me 289 days to complete this one,” David said, studying the giant puzzle that measures 18 by 5 feet.
How did this man get so wrapped up in searching through thousands of pieces of cardboard that to the average person seem to be just variations of all colors?
“I had mumps when I was 10-years-old,” David said. “My mother bought a jigsaw puzzle to keep me still for a while. I liked it so much that I put it together, and then took it apart and put it together again several times. Finally I turned all the pieces upside down so there was no color showing and put it together by just looking at the pieces. From that time on, I was hooked. I just couldn’t stop buying puzzles and putting them together.”
He walked to a closet in part of his office and opened the door. Inside were hundreds of boxes of different sizes. “In those boxes are puzzles that I have put together in the past few years.”
Photos by Riley Studio