M.C. Escher Mosaic Puzzle

I made a jigsaw puzzle of M.C. Escher’s Mosaic I out of maple and walnut.

My wife wanted me to make some Christmas presents on the Glowforge. Specifically something Escher related for her uncle. I searched through Escher’s portfolio and settled on this non-repeating mosaic. I think it makes a great puzzle–harder than you’d think for only having 36 pieces.

The walnut case/sleeve came about as an afterthought, i.e. how am I going to keep all the pieces from falling out? I made the cases the by hand but used the Glowforge to customize each case for the intended recipient.

The puzzle pieces are 1/4" thick and 3D engraved. If I were to make more of these, I’d probably make the pieces a little thinner, say 3/16", to reduce the amount of cleanup I have to do afterwards. Even making two passes, there were a few places where the Glowforge wasn’t quite able to cut all the through the 1/4" hardwood. I thought I had my settings pretty well dialed in after making some test pieces. I probably could have dialed the speed back a little bit more to account for the imperfections and variations in the wood, but I think a 1/4" cut is really pushing the limits of the laser’s focal range.

BTW, this is all just standard hardwood that I sliced up into veneers–no proof-grade materials. In fact, the walnut came from a tree in our back yard that had to be taken down.

I ended up making two puzzles since I had to cut a complete set of pieces out of both walnut and maple. Each print took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Luckily the other recipient didn’t notice/care that the light/dark pieces were inverted!


That is really impressive! Great gift for the lucky recipient(s)!!


Beautiful! I’ve been hoarding Escher pictures trying to decide which one I want to do (I want to do them all)!

The detail is spot on - and yeah, 2 for 1 :slight_smile:


I love this!



1 Like

Wow, those are amazing!


Fantastic work! This will make an excellent gift.


Yeah. Lots of people told me should make these to sell. My response is always: “I’m pretty sure I’d need to get a license from the Escher estate and pay royalties. I’ll get right on that!”


Those are gorgeous! What fantastic gifts! :grinning:


Excellent work! I like your sleeve idea.


Too bad to lose the tree, but for that amount of black walnut, it would be worth buying the tools you need to work it.
That’s a great puzzle! The contrast of the woods is perfect for the effect.

My Son in Tennessee had a house built in a development, and the property had a black walnut that had to be taken out for the build. That sucker was 3 feet in diameter, and yielded 2 arrow straight logs, one just over15 feet and one over 12 feet!!

Too bad he didn’t get to keep it. I counted the rings and it was 240+ years old.


Beautiful work!

Glad to see you’re aware of the copyright if you do want to try to make versions to sell–but I’m sure the concept & those woods will be gorgeous for any artwork/pattern. And really special that you’re able to make use of the wood from one of your own trees!


I hate to see a healthy tree go (had to make room for a new septic system) but our property is literally littered with 50-70’ tall black walnut trees–more than I can count. My front yard looks like a giant Chuck E. Cheese ball pit from all the walnuts right now.

Luckily, the septic crew was happy to leave the downed trees behind and it gave me an excuse to go buy an Alaskan sawmill to process the logs into boards. I started drying them about a year before my Glowforge arrived–talk about good timing! Now I’ve got more wood than I know what to do with.

Bonus: not only can I say “I made this.” I can say “I made this. From a tree! With frikin’ laser beams!!”


The number of times I’ve said “I have a laser in my living room” in the past year and a half is…not a small number. The use of your own tree is just icing!

I do not envy you the walnuts everywhere…at least they’re better than the spiky balls of pain!


Oh gumballs!!! Our yard is littered with those. I absolutely can’t stand them!!! Not to mention sweetgum trees are just ugly.

1 Like

Ahh to live in Miami again. The amount of mahogany and more just lying about is amazing. I kept looking and wishing I could put it to use. Now I might be able to put it to use but am not there.

1 Like

Oh wow, what a great puzzle! I love the 3D aspect of the pieces. I can see why everybody wants one.


You are definitely a craftsman.


The puzzle is incredible, and Ilove the sleeve!

Seriously, I would buy a sleeve if it fit my iPad in a heartbeat…