Riverlution: puzzle with a purpose

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Our collaboration with Puzzelize started at the end of 2021, when Linda contacted us with her idea. She started designing jigsaw puzzles during the first covid lockdown, and her unique wooden puzzles soon became quite popular in South Africa where she is based. When she found our river basin map of Africa she instantly fell in love with the map not only because of the colours and complexity of the image, but because she'd been looking for a new puzzle design that resonates with the river restoration work that Hennops Revival is doing.

River basins of Africa in rainbow colours on a transparent background

Hennops is one of Gauteng province's most polluted rivers thanks to the fact that it passes one of the most populated cities in the world (Johannesburg) and that untreated sewage flows into it from several suburbs and townships. Hennops Revival is a nonprofit organization that works hard to clean and restore the river: a gargantuan, never-ending task. For the past four years, Tarryn and her team of river heroes have done over 700 cleanups with over 4 500 000 kg (close to 10 000 000 pounds) of waste and debris removed. If you flip through their posts on their Facebook page you will see what an amazing effort it is to get rid of all the trash the river brings downstream day by day.

It's not my trash - It's my river poster by Hennops Revival with Tarryn sitting on a pile of trash in the middle of the river. Two additional pictures show a before-after section of the river.

When Linda reached out and explained to us that she wants all proceeds from the puzzle to go to Hennops Revival we were more than happy to let go of a license fee as a support for their cause. Designing and manufacturing the puzzle took seven months of work and constant cooperation from the handful of people who worked on it. We enjoyed every minute of the process, it was fascinating to see how every new mail in our inbox took us closer to the final product.

Textile bags in the making and Riverlution puzzles are being assemblied for delivery at Linda's place.

And what a product it turned out to be! Inside the paper box a beautiful hand-sewn bag with traditional South-African pattern keeps the pieces safe from getting lost. The wooden pieces are sturdy and the print quality is really great.

Riverlution puzzle closeupsThe box contains 342 uniquely designed and handcrafted pieces, many in the shape of African wildlife. You can also find our grasshopper among the different birds, antelopes, plants, fish, big cats, insects, and other animals that make the puzzle even more fun to play with. We had such a great time finding all the little details while we were solving ours.

Riverlution puzzle close-ups: the reversible waterdrop with the Grasshopper Geography logo engraved on the reverse side of the puzzle.

For us, the most interesting part of the puzzle is the large raindrop in the centre of the puzzle, though. It is reversible and reveals our logo engraved on the reverse side of the puzzle. A fantastic idea, and we are so grateful for it!

The puzzle is called Riverlution, a name that comes from Hennops Revival's motto Join the Riverlution!. Since its debut in the Bastille Market in Franschhoek last July, Riverlution is a favourite among Puzzelize customers.

This December the puzzle can also be found in every room of One&Only Cape Town, a Luxury Resort in South Africa. A variety of Linda's puzzles are now part of the hotel's activity area, and more than one hundred Riverlution puzzles were ordered in November to give away as Christmas gifts by the hotel. This is a huge recognition for Puzzelize, a small business that's grown out of a hobby. In the last three years Linda has already donated over 5500 USD to Hennops Revival and we really hope this opportunity will help them get more exposure, too, which eventually will lead to more donations. Fingers crossed!

This puzzle is one of the best things that ever happened to our maps, we are so happy to be a part of this amazing project and are extremely proud of everyone's hard work: Linda, Michéll, Jaco and Ronaldo all put their best efforts in it.

The Riverlution puzzle is available through Puzzelize's website. Shipping is not worldwide yet, but please send a message to Linda and ask for a quote if you'd like to buy one of her amazing works.

Photo showing a hand looking for pieces of the Riverlution jigsaw puzzle next to its box and open textile bag.



1 comment

  • Tarryn Johnston

    We are truly grateful for the collaboration and support, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful artwork with us to support our cause! We are in deep gratitude!

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