The Spiral Puzzle is a twist on traditional jigsaw puzzles. Usually you begin a puzzle by assembling the edge pieces and then work inwards. However, with the Spiral Puzzles, the edge winds into the middle, mixing up the interior and the exterior. We took inspiration from the intricate spiral shells made by cephalopods like the Nautilus and Ammonite to create these spiral puzzles. Today we are launching 3 new puzzles in the Spiral series, the large Nautilus Puzzle ($90), the smaller Ammonite Puzzle ($45) and the abstract Spiral Puzzle ($50) which is available in a mixture of natural, turquoise and pink wood.
The Spiral Puzzles continue on a theme we started with the Challenge Puzzle of changing your perception of the puzzle’s edge. The edge of a puzzle is the first thing you assemble upon starting. It is normally your foundation. In our Infinity Puzzles, we remove that foundation; the puzzle has no edge, no start, no end. In the Spiral Puzzles, the edge becomes the interior, right into the very center. You don’t start with the edge and then move on, the edge is with you the whole way through. With both the Infinity and the Spiral, it’s not about making the puzzle harder or easier (though it may), but about changing the experience of putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
The Spiral Puzzles are our first puzzles which explore embedding larger structures within the cut of the pieces. This introduces a new scale we can play with when designing our puzzles. Previously, we made software which generates the individual pieces and the overall shape of the puzzle, like in our Geode Puzzles (where each puzzle has a unique irregular boundary). Now we can play with structures in between, creating shapes larger than a single piece inside the puzzle.
These puzzles actually started from an idea our intern had for making a puzzle of the solar system. The concept of the concentric orbit of the planets morphed into a spiral. And what better represents a spiral in nature than the shell of a nautilus or ammonite. The nautilus is a cephalopod related to the octopus which lives in a shell. As it grows, the nautilus builds larger and larger chambers to live in, creating a spiraling shell. The chambers contain a mixture of gas and seawater which the nautilus regulates to control its buoyancy, much like a submarine!
Ammonites are their extinct relatives that have been dead for over 100 million years. They are notable for their beautiful and intricate suture patterns. These branching patterns on the shell actually define where the walls of their chambers meet the outside of the shell. In fact, these ammonite suture patterns are what inspired our first puzzle cut pattern (read more about that here).
Special thanks to Sabrina Madera who helped develop the spiral concept and prototyped the puzzles during her time at Nervous System.
You can now purchase the Spiral Puzzles in the Nervous System shop.