About us

To contact us:

Contact Mary to discuss your ideas.

E-mail: jigsaws@aupuzzle.com.au

Telephone: International 61 3 9836 6815, within Australia 03 9836 6815

Mail: auPuzzle, 20 Middlesex Road, Surrey Hills, Victoria 3127, Australia

Visiting: You can visit us by appointment at the address above, which is in Melbourne. We do not have ready made puzzles for sale.

History of auPuzzle

An article written in 2001 explains the origin of auPuzzle

10domain The Age February 14 2001

Picking up the pieces

A former university lecturer is thriving

on a puzzling passion

A jigsaw puzzle can be so much more than
just a multitude of pieces put together to 
form an image. In some war-torn countries 
it's a popular distraction from the horrific 
happenings outside; in others it's a means 
of bonding for families.

For Dr Mary Lush (below), a plant 
physiologist and former lecturer at 
Melbourne University, jigsaws are a 
passion cultivated since childhood, when 
she spent time with her grandmother 
constructing old wooden puzzles. So when 
her contract at Melbourne University 
expired, Lush, who also dabbled in 
woodwork while completing her PhD, 
seized on the chance to turn her hobby 
into a career.

Mary Lush

She visited an American puzzle guru and 
historian in Maine, Dr Anne Williams, 
whom she met over the internet. Williams 
taught her the finer points of precision 
cutting, and Lush has since formed her 
own little niche, specialising in wooden

jigsaw puzzles for adults.
She pastes color images onto
plywood, then uses a 
handsaw to cut out jigsaw 
shapes. "Part of the fun is 
slowly seeing an image 
emerge." She says. "You can
use a difficult image and 
make it almost impossible 
or you can choose a 
simpler image and make it 
slightly difficult, or you can 
make a very easy puzzle for 
someone who has poor 
eyesight."
Lush uses a scroll saw
rather than a laser or 
computer- guided cutting 
for more precise results, to
avoid burning the edges, 
and to give the puzzle a 
smoother finish.

One of the problems she has faced is 
trying to find "copyright friendly artists" 
who don't mind their artwork being used 
on the puzzles.

The designs range from indigenous art, 
to simple objects such as a butterfly or 
leaf, or more patriotic designs such as a 
kangaroo.

"People have said they've never seen 
anything like them," Lush says, "As far as
I know, I'm the only person cutting them 
in Australia, and people just don't know 
that this sort of thing exists."

She is adamant that the serious puzzler 
should not see the image before it is 
dismantled, and even carries a notice on 
her puzzles warning people to get 
someone else to dismantle the puzzle for 
them.

Each jigsaw has between 50 and 700 
pieces. Prices go up to $1350 but you 
can get a coaster for less than $100.

kingfisher pot puzzle

Pictures: Eamon Gallagher