Offbeat Video

By Jack Williams


These mind-bending masterpieces are created by an artist with a unique talent for combining different jigsaws into bizarre mashups.

Whether it be piglets with the eyes of frogs, cows combined with construction vehicles, or toy bears mixed with beer cans, no combination is off limits for the creative eye of jigsaw fanatic Tim Klein.

PIC BY TIM KLEIN / CATERS – (Pictured: King of the Road)

Tim, from Vancouver, Washington, USA, came up with the concept for his one-of-a-kind works after discovering that many mass-produced 500-piece jigsaw puzzles have the same cut pattern, allowing their subjects to be combined in bizarre ways.

Tim, 52, said: “For any pair of 500-piece puzzles with the same cut pattern, there are literally trillions of possible ways to intermingle their pieces, so the possibilities are endless.

“There’s no way to know a puzzle’s cut pattern just by looking at the box, but if two puzzles of the same size from the same manufacturer have similar copyright dates, there’s a good chance they were both cut using the same die, and thus have the same cut pattern.

PIC BY TIM KLEIN / CATERS – (Pictured: The Mercy-Go-Round (Sunshine and Shadow))

“A puzzle die is like a huge, complex cookie cutter that stamps out all the pieces of a puzzle at once, and if two puzzles have been cut using the same die, their pieces are interchangeable.”

In order to create this incredibly eye-catching works, Tim first assembles the two jigsaws side-by-side, before interchanging certain elements into one main piece.

PIC BY TIM KLEIN / CATERS – (Pictured: Daisy Bindi)

Though the concept works well of modern day puzzles, too, the artist said that his preferred subject matters are those from puzzles created between the 1960s and 1990s.

Searching for such puzzles is part of the fun for Tim, who frequently visits the likes of estate sales and charity shops in the hope of finding puzzles that could work well for such montages.

For this reason, a number of finished works the artist has put together were years in the making, with Tim waiting for the right combination of puzzles to become available.

At times, determined Tim has also had to make the tough decision to abandon such montages, accepting after hours of work that there are no suitable combinations.

PIC BY TIM KLEIN / CATERS – (Pictured: T-rainosaurus Rex)

When putting together these works, Tim said he looks to create a finished image that is either “surreal or humourous or both.”

To date, the artist and software engineer has built around 40 puzzle montages since he began experimenting with the medium in 1993.

Through his work, Tim hopes to inspire others to take an interest in this unique hobby.

Tim said: “My favorite response to my artwork is when commenters on social media tag their friends and say, in their native languages, ‘Hey, we should try this!’

PIC BY TIM KLEIN / CATERS – (Pictured: Thaw (Warm Breath on a Winter Window))

“I sometimes wonder how many weekend puzzle parties I’ve inspired among groups of friends in distant lands, and how many strange or humorous puzzle montages have resulted from them.

“I think that a lot of the appeal of this art form is that people who don’t consider themselves artists can nevertheless imagine trying it, since the materials are commonplace and no special manual skill is needed.”