by Deanna Ting | July 30, 2012
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or incentive award for employees who thrive from either (a) solving puzzles and problems and/or (b) admiring fine craftsmanship, Stave puzzles are a safe bet.
The handcrafted puzzles, made of cherry-backed, five-layered quarter-inch-thick wood feature fanciful designs — as well as custom ones — and they are available in four different styles: Traditional, TroubleMakers, Tricks, and Teasers. Traditional puzzles can be customized with names, dates and symbols carved into the puzzle. TroubleMaker puzzles offer a variety of solutions; Trick puzzles are meant for serious puzzle solvers. Teaser puzzle designs include confusing colors, repeating shapes and empty spaces.
The artisanal puzzles, which were first created in 1974 by entrepreneur Steve Richardson and designer Dave Tibbetts have a large fan base. Customers of Stave Puzzles include Bill and Melinda Gates; Stephen King; Queen Elizabeth II; and former First Lady Barbara Bush. Co-founder Richardson continues to brainstorm new puzzles by hand.
Because each puzzle is crafted by hand, no two puzzles are exactly the same and each is cut with delicately fine blades for precision. Each Stave Puzzle comes in a royal blue box with the company’s signature joker emblem embossed in gold on the cover. No images are included to guide the puzzler, so customers must solve the puzzles on their own.
Price points generally range from $125 to $500 per puzzle, but vary depending on the puzzle ordered. To order Stave puzzles, it’s best to contact customer service at (802) 295-5200 or visit its website at