You & a Bike & a Road | The Very Good Puzzle Company
Established in early 2018, The Very Good Puzzle Company is located in Athens, Georgia, and manufactured in the USA. At the core of their philosophy is art. They believe that a very good puzzle tells a story. So not only do they choose designs from compelling artists, but they also make sure a portion of the purchase goes directly to the art. They give back by donating a percentage of every sale to non-profits. So far, I have completed 3 of their puzzles. My review today will focus on You & a Bike & a Road, but I wanted to share a few pictures of Threadgood first.
I absolutely adore the artist, Kent Knowles, who created this amazing piece of art. It made me think of the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds. Kent Knowles is an American figurative painter. The characters that populate his work are often women in perilous situations, occupying lush terrain. Besides the birds, I love the jacket the woman is wearing in this puzzle. The yellow gives the painting such a vibrant focus. I did this puzzle over the summer and I do have a time-lapse, which you can view by clicking here. You’ll also catch sight of my maltese, Ari, in this video. He was going through a phase where he had to lay on my puzzle.
The Very Good Puzzle that I just completed is called You & a Bike & a Road (currently 38% off at Puzzle Warehouse). I was drawn to this puzzle because the art reminds me of driving on the rural roads in my area. And I always LOVE puzzles that have a bike in the image.
I started this puzzle with the bright oranges and reds – because the vibrancy really caught my eye and I like to start with the easy parts first. From there, I moved onto the grass, road, and details. I jumped around quite a bit. I waited until the end to do the black. And there were SO MANY black pieces! What made this more challenging is the very small variances in the piece shapes. This is a standard ribbon cut puzzle and all the pieces are the same shape (minus the edges). Pro Tip: Rotate the puzzle to give you a different viewpoint. This helps with difficult sections (I did this, which you can see in my time-lapse.)
Thankfully, I have a Ceaco Puzzle Scoop, which is a multi-function puzzle tool with an LED light, magnifying glass, and scoop to move pieces around. I cannot even begin to tell you how frequently I used the light and magnification on this puzzle.
When you look closely enough, there are some hints to help with the image placement. This piece, for example, has a tiny bit of orange on the left.
The art on You & a Bike & a Road is by nationally renowned cartoonist and illustrator, Tucson-native Eleanor Davis. The art was created for Eleanor’s book of the same name in which she documented her 2016 cross-country bike tour as it happened. The details really help you imagine what her trek was like.
The pieces are a very nice matte linen finish, minimizing glad. To be honest, I would have gotten incredibly frustrated if this was a glossy puzzle because glare + black pieces are not my friend. The pieces are the standard 1.8mm thick and very well made.
The box has a focus not only on the art but also on the artist. This is one of the things I truly appreciate with puzzles. I love learning about the artist and what inspires him/her as well as their style of art. Each side of the box is thoughtfully designed with information about the puzzle, the artist, and the philosophy behind The Very Good Puzzle Company.
Check out the approach I took when assembling this puzzle.