Rescued Urban Trees - Wooden Georgia Puzzle with Whimsies

As always for me, pics first: :drooling_face:

Pull up a chair and grab yer popcorn, folks, it’s story time!

When I first moved to Georgia, I knew no one. Since I work from home (even before the pandemic!) I also didn’t meet anyone except the spousal unit’s work friends. So I used Instagram to find local artists and craftspeople. Took a bit for me to uncover (importance of location tags, people!) but I eventually met a few, and made a point to also meet them in person. That is how I came across Brandon Hunnicutt, a wood cutter who specializes in rescuing storm-downed urban trees from all those stormy blow ups we get down in the South.

Cutting to the chase, and wanting to support fellow artisans, I came up with the idea to use his woods to create an intensely local puzzle! The wood grew and fell in Georgia, was milled and prepped 20 minutes away, and eventually came to be given new life as a Georgia puzzle with agricultural whimsies. This one with the gorgeous coloring happens to be made from a Juniperus virginiana, aka Eastern Juniper, aka Eastern Red Cedar. And yes, that cedar smell is amazing mixed with the smoky laser smell.

Cutting details: I try to get away with not using masking whenever possible, so this is cut and scored unmasked (6 minutes). First I sand it super smooth, hit it with some well-burnished in Odie’s Wood Butter, and then cut it. I use a microfiber cloth and water to get off the worst of the resin smoke residue, tape one side together with masking, and hit it with the orbital sander until the rest of the residue is gone. I also sand it while it is within the cutout piece so pieces don’t go flying. After doing both sides, I look over each piece and use a fat brush to dust off the edges from sanding residue, and pack it into an 8oz. tin. It is ~6x6" and 43 pieces :heart_eyes_cat::heart_eyes_cat::heart_eyes_cat:

I’m thinking these are going to go like hot cakes down here, if I can get them into the public eye a bit more :wink:

***Edited to add, if you like this kind of wooden puzzle, I just updated the Fall Leaf Halloween Puzzle *Update* in the Free Laser Designs section, so you can also make your own wooden puzzle!

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Totally awesome! The story adds so much to the project. Good luck with sales.

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Very nice, looks awesome and it’s definitely a fun and different puzzle. I’d buy something like that if I saw it at a rest area or gift shop…nicer to look at than my shot glass collection.

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Although if you mix the shot glasses and try to actually do this type of puzzle… :joy_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat:

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Utterly charming as usual.
While there’s no shortage of shops stocking locally made artisans in Atlanta, this was the shop that I always ended up in when I wanted something beautiful. Your puzzle would be a great fit there.

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Thank you! I already have some puzzles at the Warner Robins Georgia Artisan Center/ Welcome Center, but it has been hard to gauge profitability since the government buildings have been mostly closed for the last several months.

I do hope to get this puzzle in their shop for the Holidays!

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Thanks for the suggestion! The latest big project is to starting getting wholesale/consignment accounts to spread brand recognition, and this is an incredibly helpful tip.

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Very beautiful!!

Contact every shop owner in Helen, Georgia
Talk to the merchandise buyer/manager at the Georgia aquarium

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:slight_smile: I forgot! The Atlanta History Center has a very nicely curated gift shop, too. Not sure how open they are these days. Perhaps you could sell them on the idea of an exclusive Swan House puzzle?

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Matt Cremona has great stories about urban logging. I have a brother who spent much of last summer cleaning up after a tornado with a buddy of his with a bandmill. It is on my bucket list. I’m so glad that you can do this with local wood.

That is a great color!

And can you get an onion in there? It’s what I eat most from GA.

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Oye, Marion, if I could fit all the Ag stuff in there, I would! Did you know that Georgia is the top producer for blueberries ad pecans too? Although there is a Vidalia Onion festival in Vidalia , Georgia :grin: One day I’ll get there (after the pandemic, of course!)

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Ah, thank you! I’ve got them saved for future reference, and although The Beehive is a rental space, they do have about 5% of consignment/wholesale vendors :smile:

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I love maps! That is a very harmonious puzzle. Well done.

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This is gorgeous. I love everything about it - fantastic job! :slight_smile:

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@kelley1 and @ritadian Thank you!

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Beautiful puzzle of the state. Being from GA, I really like the theme of your design. :smiley:

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Still in awe of your puzzles. If you would make a Kansas one (tornado included but don’t forget we are a tech area not just farmland!! people seem to forget that) … I’d definitely be interested. I just can’t wrap my brain around making those puzzles — haven’t wrapped my head around the creation part of it. It’s a good thing my livelihood doesn’t depend on my drawing abilities… great piece!!

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Really cool!

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Beautiful work! But don’t forget the watermelon out of Cordele, Ga!

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Another lovely project! Such a great tie in with the design and local wood/milling.

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