RL: Please tell us about yourself?
TA: My name’s Tom and I’m a conservation scientist from Oxford. I’ve also got a passion for puzzles and have been designing wooden puzzles for the last couple of years, mainly for the joy of designing them and putting them together. I usually give the puzzles away to friends, family, or anyone who shows an interest.
RL: Please tell us about your work?
TA: The puzzles I build usually come from a simple idea for a physical or mental challenge, get waaay too complicated, before I simplify them down to a puzzle that should work. The puzzles tend to be at the harder end of the spectrum with solve times from around 30 minutes to 1 hour 30 min.
RL: What do you like about laser cutting and the material/s you used?
TA: I started out making puzzles by hand, but without the right tools I found it hard to get the level of precision that you typically need for puzzles. Instead they ended up being clunky, and pretty big. When I discovered laser cutting it was a eureka moment. Laser cutting opened the door to really accurate cutting that allowed me to make puzzles that operated smoothly and were nice and compact.
RL: What made you choose RazorLAB?
TA: I was looking for a workshop that could work with me as a creator to help bring my puzzle to life. As a hobbyist with no experience with laser cutting it is a pretty daunting world out there! RazorLAB were really approachable and helpful. They took the time to make sure I was happy with my orders, answer my many questions, and give tips on how to improve my designs.
RL: Where can we see your work?
TA: RiddleBoxDesigns on Etsy [very much a work in progress – hope to put all my designs here in the future].