Zen Art & Design Announces New Program
“Zen Giving: Buy a Puzzle, Give a Puzzle”
Mission-Driven Creators of Artisanal,
Heirloom-Quality, Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles Offer a Unique,
Engaging Experience that Brings Family and Friends Together
Zen Puzzles and Peapod Puzzles – Eco-Friendly and Made in America
(December 2, 2015) Zen Art & Design, Inc. founder and CEO, Will Carswell, has announced that the company has initiated a pilot program, called “Zen Giving: Buy a Puzzle, Give a Puzzle”, which will donate either a Zen Puzzle (for adults) or Peapod Puzzle (for children ages 4-8 and above) to Project Just Because with every order placed at its online store, www.zenartdesign.com, through December 31st, 2015.
Project Just Because (projectjustbecause.org), a non-profit organization based in Hopkinton, MA, serves 15,000+ children and families in Massachusetts with a variety of needs-based support and will be Zen Art & Design’s first collaborators in its Zen Giving—Buy a Puzzle, Give a Puzzle program. Plans are also underway to work with other non-profits, which will roll-out as the company gains experience and additional resources.
A Legacy of Challenging, Family Fun
Carswell, a globally-recognized wooden jigsaw puzzle expert, created the Zen Giving: Buy a Puzzle, Give a Puzzle program as part of his company’s mission to create not only the highest quality wooden jigsaw puzzles, but to have each purchase of his puzzles have a positive social or ecological impact as well. “Do Puzzles that Do Good” is one of Zen Art & Design’s slogans, and that’s what the Zen Giving program is about.
As a child in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, there was almost always a wooden jigsaw puzzle in various stages of completion on the dining room table of his on-the-go family’s home. “Joining in on the puzzle was one way they family enjoyed each other’s company—a common interest that brought us together and became a family legacy over the years,” says Carswell. While $8-$20, die-cut, cardboard jigsaw puzzles abound at mass merchandise retailers—as they have since the Great Depression, Carswell’s family focused on collecting wooden jigsaw puzzles hand cut by artisans, whose puzzles are considered by many to be collectible works of art, with prices that can run into thousands of dollars.
“I feel very fortunate my parents introduced me to wooden jigsaw puzzles at a very young age. There was something almost magical about how they came together, step-by-step, into a gorgeous image, with each artfully cut piece fitting into the others smoothly and cleanly when the right piece had finally been found among the hundreds on the table,” says an exuberant Carswell. These experiences formed the foundation of Carswell’s passion for designing and making collectible, heirloom, wooden jigsaw puzzles. First as the principal of Berkshire Puzzles and now Zen Art & Design, Carswell makes unique jigsaw puzzles that challenge the senses while providing quiet time and insulation from the bustle of today’s 24/7, always-on digital world.
“Putting a cardboard puzzle together doesn’t come close to the fulfilling experience of the finely crafted, wooden jigsaw puzzles I’ve enjoyed throughout my life. Of course, as a puzzler, I’ll always encourage doing any kind of jigsaw puzzle as a wonderful activity, and, in fact, we even have a few digital puzzles on our website many enjoy, too. But once you’ve experienced an artfully cut wooden puzzle and felt the tactile dimension its pieces offer, you understand why people are so passionate about them. It’s almost indescribable other than to say it’s just very special and satisfying,” says Carswell.
The Zen Giving program began on December 2, the “National Day of Giving.” As a result, Zen Art & Design is already sending its first shipments of gift puzzles to Project Just Because, who will distribute them to children, families, and seniors in need in time for the holidays.
“Our hope is to help people of all ages discover the enjoyment, beauty, and inspiration a well-crafted wooden puzzle can bring into their lives, and to help our customers bring that same joy to others,” says Carswell. “We’re looking forward to working with the generous volunteers at Project Just Because and to expanding the Zen Giving program as it gains momentum.”
About Zen Art & Design, Inc.
Founded in 2012 by Will Carswell, a world-renowned wooden puzzle expert and the company’s CEO, Zen Art & Design is a profit- and mission-driven company that makes artisanal, heirloom-quality, eco-friendly wooden jigsaw puzzles for adults and children.
Its two, eco-friendly, primary product lines, Zen Puzzles (for adults) and Peapod Puzzles (ages 4-8 and above) are 100% made in America. They use FSC-certified birch containing only legal, regionally-harvested wood, which is produced using an award-winning, soy-based and formaldehyde-free lamination process. All retail boxes are produced from recycled content and are assembled using all natural, water-based glues.
Zen Art & Design provides puzzle-doers an opportunity to connect with family and friends around the living room or dining room table, or to find their “moment of zen” in the hectic schedule of modern life by diving into the gorgeous prints, clever cuts, and intricate designs featured in their artisanal, heirloom, wooden puzzles.
All puzzles use vibrant, colorful images that are meticulously reproduced into fine art Giclée prints and then cut into hundreds of tricky, little pieces to challenge, surprise, and satisfy puzzlers all over the world.
Each Zen Puzzle and Peapod Puzzle is expertly hand-designed with delightful, intricate “figural” pieces – puzzle pieces that are shaped within the context of the main puzzle image. For instance, as shown in on the right, an image of a sunset in Venice, “Grand Canal at Dusk,” might have figural pieces of gondolas or lovers in Victorian dress designed into it, which adds charm, dimension, and whimsy as well as clues to completing the puzzle.
The company also offers Custom Zen Puzzles for companies, organizations, and brands.