- A puzzlers journey!
- When and how did Puzzleisure begin?
TheMetagrobologists designer and craftsmen interviews reveal the thought process of the world’s very best mechanical puzzle designers and craftsmen. In this feature, we explore the magic ofPuzzleisureandStephan Baumegger. This is just one of many Q&As encompass conversations with numerous puzzle masters, and each interview provides insights on their past, present and future works with personal perspectives.
Stephan Baumegger, is the owner ofPuzzleisure一个Facebook页面,介绍并提供enthusiastic collectors worldwide with world-class wooden mechanical puzzles designed and built in exotic woods. The puzzles designed and built by Stephan Baumegger are eagerly collected by passionate collectors all over the globe. A full-time social worker and craftsman, Stephan has been making his highly collectable wooden puzzles since discovering the book ‘Puzzles Old And New‘ from Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans as a teen.
In Issue 6 ofTheMetagrobologist Magazine, we explore his wonderful workshop and mind. We have long enjoyed Stephan’s beautiful mechanical wooden puzzles and are delighted to share an exclusive interview on Stephan’s designs, design process and manufacturing.
MTG:Stephan, it is with great satisfaction, that we finally have an opportunity to explore the wonderful craftsmanship. Please, to start off this interview, what can you tell us about your background?
Stephan:Oh, this is a funny question really, as I didn´t actually train for a job that would be in contact and working with wood. I come from a totally different industry and sector and have been working as a social worker for over 20 years. In my day-to-day role, I support teenagers, who struggle with life, and help get them back into a more structured lifestyle and a way back into society.
I didn´t actually train for a job that would be in contact and working with wood.Stephan Baumegger
MTG:How and why did you choose woodworking as a craft then?
Stephan:At the age of twelve, I spent a week on a school trip with my class in the mountains for skiing. During the trip, I happened to see a teacher had adisentanglement puzzlewith them. The objective was to simply free a ring. Sadly, due to the trip, there really wasn’t any free time, so I never got a lot of time to play with it. When I returned back home, I walked into my dad’s workshop and built the puzzle again from the memory.
I liked the fact that I was able to recreate it on my own and it looked very cool to me at that time, but unfortunately, I couldn’t solve it. I gave it as a present to my mom and she was able to free the ring. This was a big aha! moment. A little later, by sheer coincidence, I received a book from a school friend, it was called ‘Geduldspiele der Welt‘ or original ‘Puzzles Old And New‘ from Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans. I found a lot of new puzzles in this book that I could build. Sadly, I soon ran out of pocket money to build more. So I started selling them.
I received a book from a school friend, it was called ‘Geduldspiele der Welt’ or original ‘Puzzles Old And New’ from Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans.
When and how did Puzzleisure begin?
MTG:So when and how did Puzzleisure begin?
Stephan:When it was in a position to set up my own workshop in my own home, I restarted building puzzles. I found some very interesting designs onIshino’s Keiichirowebpage ‘Puzzle will be played‘ and started to build some six piece burrs in a cube and raised the level a little bit at a time.
At one point I was not able to assemble the puzzle I had built, so I searched on the internet and found a collector, who had this puzzle in his collection. The collector was ‘Goetz Schwandtner‘. Goetz gave me a hint, and I discoveredburrtools. This was a terrific moment for me.
Using burrtools I was able to build a lot of terrific new mechanical wooden puzzles from other designers found on the website. However, once again, I had the same problem. As a developing puzzle craftsman I wanted to make the puzzles as perfect as I could, but I didn´t have the tools to get the precision needed. It was clear to me, I had to start designing my own puzzles, which I could of course then sell. That was the beginning.
Lookout for the full interview by Stephan Baumegger within issue 6 ofTheMetagrobologist Magazine.