"Sedici Animali" (Sixteen Fishes) - an Homage to Enzo Mari's MCM puzzle

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Project by livewire516 posted 04-07-2020 03:03 AM 1230 views 4 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Enzo Mari designed this c. 1957 for Italian manufacturer, Danese Milano.

My understanding is that the original was Oak, (or sometimes plastic), around 1 inch thick. This puzzle was made out of 1/2” thick birch ply.

My dear friends are expecting their first baby any day now – I made this as a gift to them to commemorate the occasion. (I don’t actually think this is an appropriate toy for toddlers or younger – I just think it’s a handsome piece of Italian design). Now that it’s in their hands, I can share photos of it.

I created a template in Inkscape, by tracing an image file of a photo with an original Danese Milano puzzle. Being a vector-graphic, I can make the template any size without it getting pixelated. My understanding was that the originals are around 15” x 10.5” – so that’s what I made mine.

After cutting out the pieces on a scroll saw, I refined their shape on a combo belt/disc sander. Then, after hand sanding, they got just one coat of Danish Oil, and knocked down with paste wax.

I feel weird making an homage to something that’s still actually in production (I guess it’s technically a knockoff?). The thing is, when I first saw EM’s puzzles, I don’t want to have it—I wanted to make it! I also made his other puzzle, “Sedici Animali” which is on my projects page.

They’re a lot of fun to make!

1 comment so far

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Jim Jakosh

27241 posts in 4439 days

#1 posted 04-22-2020 12:17 AM

cool puzzle!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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