1000 Tempting Treats

1000 Tempting Treats

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Tempting Treats is a 1000 piece puzzle by Claire Cumerford. The puzzle measures 68 x 49 cms. when complete and is made of 100% recycled premium puzzle board which means it can be made over and over again without any deterioration of the quality of the pieces.

The scene is an old fashioned kitchen with a double sink and an Aga cooker which is a type of stove that never goes out. Originally developed to burn coal or anthracite, the Aga cooker was invented in 1922 by the Nobel Prize-winning Swedish physicist Gustaf Dalén (1869–1937), who was employed as the chief engineer of the Swedish AGA company. Dalén lost his sight in an explosion while developing his earlier invention. Forced to stay at home, Dalén discovered that his wife was exhausted by cooking. Although blind, he set out to develop a new stove that was capable of a range of culinary techniques and easy to use.

Adopting the principle of heat storage, he combined a heat source, two large hotplates and two ovens into one unit: the AGA Cooker. The cooker was introduced to the United Kingdom in 1929, and was manufactured there under licence in the early 1930s. Its popularity in certain parts of British society (owners of medium to large country houses) led to the coining of the term ‘AGA Saga’ in the 1990s, referring to a genre of fiction set amongst stereotypical upper-middle-class society. The stove which has a limited appeal due to its size, weight and the fact that it uses fossil fuel as its heat source has meant an ever shrinking market. The company that made the cooker in the UK has been closed for several years.

This a a charming snap shot of domestic pets about to, or at least hopeful of having a taste of mum's delicious cupcakes. It looks as though the cat is going to prevent the dog from getting anywhere near the cakes. The various colours and patterns in the puzzle are both harmonious and quite typical of such a well used kitchen. Mum herself is out in the garden collecting ripe produce perhaps for another baked treat. In order to make the puzzle a little less challenging, the artist Claire Cumerford, has broken down the multiple colours into patterns such as on the bowls and tea towels.