I conceived this puzzle in October of 2016. I build my first prototype with material from a cut up backpack, hot glue, and velcro. This prototype saw some successful play tests, among my friends. It was around this time that I learned of the International Puzzle Party, or IPP. Naturally, I thought it would be worth spending a bit more time on the design. This is the inspiration of the Egyptian Glove.
I also wanted to explore the economic potential of this puzzle idea, which meant I didn’t just have to build one, but many. I severely underestimated the challenges I would face at scale.
What’s the current problem (8/25/17)?
- Time. I’ve underestimated the time commitment it would take to getting these puzzles manufactured. I can hear you saying, “But you already made two, just make some more!” Well, I can assure you I have more than one problem.
- Process. There’s basically three parts to the process: (1) Carve the wood tetrahedron, (2) build the fabric, and (3) pack and ship. The only part of the process that I have down pat is the cutting the tetrahedron. My sewing machine doesn’t like the canvas. I’ve had to teach myself how to sew, but my machine just doesn’t like to cooperate. There’s a small chance these problems could stem from a skill gap with the tailor. And, I don’t have a process to ship.
After a lot of wasted time on my part, I decided I needed to get help. In fact, I needed to get help if I wanted to ship you a puzzle. I needed a seamstress. I knew just the place to look, Artisan’s Asylum. So I wrote a letter:
I’m a puzzle designer and recently submitted my first mechanical puzzle into the International Puzzle Party 2017 (http://www.johnrausch.com/DesignCompetition/). While I didn’t place, orders have started to roll in as a result. You can find my shop page here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/534709117/the-egyptian-glove-puzzle
My ask is for a designer to help produce the canvas pieces. It currently takes me too long to produce these pieces at home and, with the right tools, it could take much less time (an overlock machine would be very helpful, for example).
Currently, I have 10 puzzles purchased with plans in place to fulfill more orders. I’d like to make my first run in the 20-30 units range. If you are interested, please reach out and I’m sure we can reach an agreement.
Ask and you shall receive! Enter, Christie G, a seamstress jill-of-all-trades that seems to approach all aspects of life with ambitious curiosity. After a just few email exchanges and a one meetup, Christie is going to head up the fabric design, manufacturing, and shipping. She’s injecting a lot of energy into this project at just the right moment!
I’m confident we will be shipping in September and a level of quality that raises the bar.
To all my customers, thank you! This will be a fun journey. And if you think so too, please tell me! I’d love some constructive feedback in the comments or in my inbox.
p.s. Here is a photo album of the puzzle: https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/QRYfbUt796OBKVwcYQEuHyTkJDz9uXqRMCmBqqU5EOt I experimented with color, but I didn’t like how it made the canvas stiff.