For 45 years we have been bringing fun, challenge, and togetherness to families and friends... don’t forget the torment and anguish we throw in there, too (hee, hee, hee)! Our mission at Stave Puzzles is to create the most beautiful, challenging and entertaining puzzles in the world.
The wit and mischief of the Stave gang inspires letters, calls, gifts, bribes and pranks way beyond what you would expect. Like the 10lbs of M&Ms we receive every year from a devoted fan, emails and phone calls from puzzlers bribing us with chocolate for hints to their Trick puzzles.
Our business is to figure out how we can give you the most challenging and entertaining puzzle experience possible. Long before you decide to purchase a puzzle, we’re busy conjuring up new design ideas and choosing what we think is the best artwork for Traditional puzzling.
When you place an order, we guide you through each step - from choosing the perfect image and puzzle size, to customizing it with special silhouette shapes. Our goal is to make your dream puzzle come to life. All while having fun in the process.
Many of us wear several hats! We could be printing artwork for your puzzle, juggling customers on the phone, or designing and laying out a mailing piece. Here’s your chance to meet those of us working behind the scenes.
And, if you've ever wondered who it is that’s providing the joy, frustration and feeling of satisfaction you get when you’re working your puzzle? Each signature clown piece in our puzzle shows the initials of the Stave artisan who crafted your puzzle. Therein lies the answer to your wonderment. You also have your chance to meet the owner of one of those sets of initials.
I'm Steve Richardson, aka The Chief Tormentor. If you are lucky enough to own a puzzle with the initials SKR, you have a vintage Stave puzzle in your collection that I crafted years ago. Since 1974, my cohorts and I have been the masterminds behind the most beautiful, most inventive, and without question, most challenging jigsaw puzzles to be found in the world today—the famous Stave puzzles.
I invented Trick™ puzzles and introduced CHAMP, Stave's first Trick puzzle in 1990. Champ, the sea serpent, may be put together in many different configurations, but only one is correct!.
I challenge you to attempt Stave's Trick puzzles. Work your way through the difficulty levels ranging from 1 lightening bolt to 5 bolts. The 5 bolt Trick puzzles belong in Steve's Torcher Chamber. (insert evil laugh). BEWARE: I don't recommend you trying a 4 bolt Trick puzzle without first successfully solving levels 1 through 3. Best of luck!
Hi, I'm Ginny and I have been creating fun and trickery at Stave for over 23 years.
While my favorite cutting style is Nightmare, I’m the “evil one" that started crafting puzzles in mini cut! I remember that day so well…..I challenged myself to see just how tiny an interlock piece I could cut and was surprised at just how very TINY it was! Although it wasn’t that easy to craft, I cut a few puzzles using the mini cut style and they were so difficult everyone nicknamed them “Ginny’s Minis”.
Trick puzzles are my specialty. I learned from the Master himself, Steve Richardson. I must be pretty good at it because I also train some of the other crafters on all the ‘tricky techniques” (insert devilish laughter!). I enjoy learning to craft the new Trick designs that Steve creates. If you’ve never tried a Trick puzzle, I’d love to craft one for you.
I also love crafting beach and sea-themed puzzles, so one of my favorite Traditional puzzle artists is Paul Brent. I'm famous for incorporating lots of color line cutting to add extra challenge and torment. I can almost hear you cursing me now!
People often ask me if I have any previous woodworking experience – the answer is no. But crafting puzzles requires lots of patience, an eye for creativity, and a crafty background usually helps. When I’m not at Stave, I enjoy crocheting, sewing, painting, and quilting – but I also love to dance.
My four grandchildren and a family dog, named Samantha, also keep me busy .
Thanks for letting me puzzle you! Ginny
Wow! Where do I even begin? I feel for the first 36 years, I struggled to find “my place”, but now - here I am at Stave! It’s been a little less than two years for me, but I can honestly say it’s the best job I’ve ever had. The positive energy here is amazing and I have formed so many new friendships. There is no doubt for me that this will be the job I retire from.
I love a good challenge and I’ve always enjoyed work that is very detail-oriented. I haven’t mastered all of the cutting styles yet, but I’m learning from the other crafters and finding new ways to torment you on a daily basis (hee hee hee).
When it comes to the style of artwork I like, well – that varies widely! My taste is very broad - from dark and brooding, to bright and cheerful, to fantasy, and to realistic. A few of my favorite images are Desert Garden by Cynthia Fitting, Shades Of Blue by Skarlett and The Bookshelf by Colin Thompson. All of these images make my imagination go wild with the silhouettes I could craft into them or the things I could do to add difficulty. Even though I like to know I’ve challenged you, I also love to know that you have enjoyed a puzzle I crafted. It makes me feel good to go home at night knowing that I brought a smile to someone’s face. If you ever find an inchworm silhouette in a puzzle I crafted…well, that’s just my signature piece. I feel that inch-by-inch we all make progress and grow. When I’m not with my Stave family, I enjoy being at home with my fiancé and our three cats and tarantula – yes, I said tarantula. I also like to spend time outside taking pictures and gardening, or at least learning how to garden! I look forward to becoming a master crafter and tormenting you all for many years to come.
Hi, my name is Marisa
It’s official... I’ve been with Stave for one year now. Yay! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning how to create the most amazing puzzles in the world, so this past year has flown by for me. And even though I’ve learned so much, I’m still honing my skills on the different ways to torment….uh, I mean challenge….you. I mainly craft Teaser puzzles for now, but I especially like Betsy Brown’s artwork. Riding High and Kimono My House are two of my favorites. I also love listening to music while I cut - it’s so therapeutic!
I’m beginning to learn a lot about our collection of images for Traditional puzzles and I’m a huge fan of John Powell. It’s especially fun for me to craft a puzzle using his artwork. His intricate detail gives me lots of opportunity to play with the edge and silhouettes. The colors are so bright and vibrant, they really capture my eye as an artist. Shown below are two of his images that I would love to craft for you one day, but I’m game for any of his artwork actually! As you can imagine, all of our puzzle collections are completely different to craft. If you do have me create a puzzle for you someday, I’ll probably cut in a few silhouettes of either birds or butterflies. I’ve found they look really neat on colorful patterns in the puzzle image and this is something I like to incorporate when I can. They really pop!
When I’m away from Stave, my time is spent with my fiancé, my mischievous cat named Bill, and my cute little chihuahua named Enzo. They all keep me pretty busy. I also custom paint leather jackets and purses and sell them at a local boutique. Imagine the palette of colors I am able to use on them. Other fun hobbies for me include tabletop games and “crate digging” at local record stores. People who know me know that I’m constantly changing my hair and have a ton of different colorful sneakers.
I hope to craft a puzzle for you soon!
Hi, my name is Susan
I’ve been lucky enough to find a career that I love. Working with artists, puzzlers, and the great people at Stave has been a pleasure. I’ve been here for more than 25 years - that says something! Along with this, living in a unique part of the country where we experience four seasons is something I still thoroughly enjoy. And yes, this includes snow. Each season, for me, brings anticipation and appreciation of its beauty and what is to come.
Do I have a favorite artist, theme or style of artwork? Ooooh….. this is a loaded question! So much artwork to look at and offer….. so little time. Since I work with Stave’s Traditional puzzle artists it’s a treat to continually look at art. How amazing is that?! Every artist we license brings their distinctive style and visual story to our puzzles. Not only is each piece a beautiful work of art, but our talented crafters take it to the next level - a Stave puzzle!
Licensing, graphics, and talking with puzzlers are just a few favorite parts of my job - there is plenty of variety every day. Most of all, Stave has been like a family, we all genuinely care about one another and what is happening in our lives. Coming to work is easy to do because you know your day will have a lot of creativeness with a mix of learning new things from some amazingly artistic people.
Some of my other favorite things to do are relaxing with family or just being outside a lot with dogs, horses, flower gardening and taking in the fresh air. Where I live happens to have the most stunning blue skies, like the evening skies Maxfield Parrish depicted in his paintings. It’s true, the sky can look that blue!
If you would like to see more images from any of the artists we offer. Let me know and I'll check into it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat.
I have only been with Stave for a short time so I’m still getting to know the ropes on how to torment you. I’ve really enjoyed learning and being inspired by all the professional tormentors here - they’re good, REALLY good! It’s definitely the best part of my job. Creativity, artwork, thinking outside the box, love, love, love it.
I have seen so much artwork since I’ve been with Stave. It has been incredible and similar to being in a gallery. However, I’m no longer looking at artwork the same way I used to. I see the art in a whole new light. A “puzzle light” to torment you one day! I’m learning to look beyond the art and to focus on the details so I can craft a really fun puzzle for you that has all the elements you expect. If only you could be a fly on the wall when I’m reviewing my thoughts with another crafter who shares their ideas with me. Our vision usually changes to incorporate both ideas. That’s the best, the moment we both say, “Yes, that’s it!” Of course, we’re both grinning and chuckling a little at how the puzzle we envision will challenge you when you’re assembling it. I mean, come on, you would have a devious laugh too if you were behind the scenes at Stave dreaming up ways to torture people... don’t even say you wouldn’t! It’s fun and something every crafter enjoys intheir own unique way.
When I see Traditional puzzles others have designed, I really love their animal silhouettes. It’s neat to see how they’ve incorporated them into puzzles. I’m looking forward to having fun crafting silhouettes like dogs or cats playing into your Traditional puzzles. Being inspired never ends!
On a personal note, I’m originally from Chicago, IL, and my family is still there. Although I have great memories of Chicago, I really wanted a change. The opportunity came when my roommate decided to move to New Hampshire and I followed. Its been almost two years now and I’m still enjoying all the outdoor adventures my new life has given me. Quite different than Chicago! Hiking, fresh produce at local farmer’s markets, kayaking are my top picks. Knitting, sewing, and baking are a close tie. Now I can add “future tormentor” to my list! I look forward to puzzling you someday soon.
Hello, my name is Kathleen.
I’ve been a crafter with Stave for just over three years. It’s so much fun – I honestly can’t imagine working anywhere else! Want to know all the sneaky things I like to challenge you with? I LOVE to craft any image that lets me do lots of color-line cutting. It’s like being on a treasure hunt – you think you’re looking for blue, but, voilá….you’re actually looking for red. I, myself, fall into this trap every single time I work a puzzle! I also put as many “whammies” on the edge of the puzzle as I can. Oh, you’re not familiar with a whammy? It’s when two edge pieces won’t interlock together until you find the joining interior piece. These cutting techniques make me feel like such a trickster, but I also enjoy seeing all the personalization and special pieces that are requested. It makes me feel connected to the person I’m crafting the puzzle for and I’ve widened my circle of friends. I feel very blessed to be a part of the Stave team and a part of your “puzzling” world.
When I’m not at Stave, I enjoy spending time with my significant other and my two cats, George and Louie. I’m pretty crafty – I guess that’s what makes me such a perfect fit for Stave (pun intended). My hobbies include making bowls using a slab pottery technique, and dabbling in acrylic painting.
One of my favorite activities is to sit on the porch, sip tea, and read. If you’ve ever been to New England, you know there’s nothing like taking a nice long walk down a dirt road, I like to do that too!