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Meet The Artisans

Cutting puzzles by hand is a skilled craft that goes back to the mid-18th century. Today, our talented artisans cut each puzzle with their own unique flair and creativity.

Lisa: General Manager and Puzzle Cutter

Born, raised, and still living in the neighboring town of Bridgton, I have great appreciation for the beauty of Maine's natural surroundings. My husband and I became empty nesters when our two sons completed college, and we are looking forward to this next stage of life.

I am passionate about many things: family, friends, gardening, music, good food and good books, volunteering in my community, camping, and much more. My golden doodle, Emmett, is my constant companion in all travels, even here at work! Emmett's cats, Izzy and Monty, keep the home front in line.

Loving crafts and needing a flexible job while raising kids and caretaking family members led me into this job in 1995. I became a cutter and enjoyed it for many years. Being interested in all aspects of puzzle production eventually led me into working more closely with Betsy. As her cancer progressed and she delegated more of the running of ELMS onto her employees, I eventually moved from cutting into the managing of ELMS Puzzles daily life.

I really enjoy the creative process of a puzzle from start to finish. I love talking with customers, learning about their lives and how our puzzles fit into their daily world…it's always interesting!

Rose: Art Director

Cutting puzzles was the beginning of my career at ELMS in 1991.

Currently, I print out the puzzle artwork for the cutters, create collages and art borders when needed, and size and print puzzle replacement pieces.  I also create the “special pieces” that involve names, dates and numbers.  I print out, size and doctor the custom orders from personal photographs and requested special items, such as the previously mentioned photo collages and special puzzle borders and designs.

I have two grown children who continue to be a light in my life and I have been blessed with two amazing grandchildren. In my "quiet time", I keep busy with my own art business, RED ROSE FINE ART.

Living in Maine and being in kinship with its natural surroundings, helps to sustain my art and continues to delight and amaze me.

I feel fortunate to have personally known Betsy Stuart, the original creator of the puzzle company known as ELMS Puzzles, from whom I learned my trade. Not only was she a good friend, she was also instrumental in changing the course my life has taken.

Waterford Puzzles is unusual in many respects. Aside from schedule flexibility and the ability bring your pets to work, Waterford Puzzle’s creative and able talents seem to be as diverse as each employee.

Debby: Puzzle Cutter

It was by chance that I began working at ELMS Puzzles, then located in Harrison, the town in which I live.

As a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, I have been a professional cellist for most of my life. In the fall of 1974, having spent a season playing in the Syracuse Symphony, and then in the Calgary Philharmonic, I fulfilled a lifetime dream to live and work in Maine. At that time, I began playing in the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and continue to do so today.

Through the years, I have had a full private studio of cello students, have conducted a youth orchestra at the University of Southern Maine, and  have played in various other performing groups, such as the Portland Opera, the Portland Chamber Orchestra, and the White Mountain Musical Arts  Bach Festival in North Conway, NH. All the while, I have used crafts, such as rug hooking and punch needle as a respite from the world of performance and teaching.

One day in the spring of 2003, I happened to visit ELMS Puzzles, (just up the hill from where I live,) and was totally enthralled by the creative works of art that were being made. An off-the-cuff comment to Betsy, that I would LOVE to cut puzzles, led me to becoming an apprentice, and then a true puzzle cutter. This opportunity came at a time when I was ending a ten year tenure as the host of the Portland Symphony's Kinderkonzerts. I was able to commit to being a part-time cutter for ELMS, and continue as such, with The Waterford Puzzle Company. I still live in Harrison with my companion Mark, our dog Lady and within 5 miles of my two wonderful grandchildren.

Chris: Puzzle Cutter

My husband and I have 2 grown children and now a little grandson who is just a pure joy!  Our old farmhouse was built in the 1850’s and has been completely refurbished.  My state-licensed nursery school is in my home and has been in operation for over 30 years.  It’s a Waldorf-inspired school for 2 1/2  - 5 year old children.

In 2008 I was not looking for an additional job, but the business was in search  of a cutter, so they invited me to visit.  I enjoyed myself so much that I decided to try my hand at cutting.  It has been a part-time job for me ever since.  The work environment is a place which fosters and thrives on creative energy, whether it be in the selection of special pieces, the innovative placement of the pieces in the puzzle, or just the actual cutting itself.  It is such a pleasure to cut these fascinating puzzles.  My 2 jobs seem to complement each other perfectly.

My signature piece is a sweater with a heart in the center.  This is indicative of my love for fiber arts:  spinning, dyeing, knitting, weaving, and needle felting.  My new pet is a German angora rabbit named Charlie.  The children enjoy bringing him in the house, playing with him as well as combing and brushing his long wool.  I shear him every 3 months and use his fibers for knitting hats, scarves, mittens and sox.  (It’s cold in the western foothills of Maine in the winter.)  My hands are never idle.

In my free time I enjoy swimming in all the beautiful Maine lakes, rivers and ocean, canoeing, walking in the woods, and snowshoeing.

Kristin: Puzzle Cutter

When I was invited to join the crew at ELMS, I was very excited that I would be able to work in a creative, fun environment which mandates that I use POWER TOOLS! In the spare time that I have I enjoy gardening and spending quality time with my family and friends.

I live in the beautiful town of Harrison, Maine and have two lovely children, Riley and Keegan. Our household also includes two Golden Retrievers. One might say I have been "living the dream"!

Prior to working for ELMS Puzzles, I was very fortunate to be able to be a stay at home mom before my son, Keegan, started school. Just when I thought that life could not get any better, I started working for ELMS Puzzles. I must say that I have enjoyed every minute spent with this wonderful, talented group. I have always been a fan of putting together challenging puzzles and to be able to work at a premier jigsaw puzzle company just adds to my dream.

Jen: Puzzle Finisher & Quality Control

Jen lives in Harrison, Maine, with her husband and three beautiful children.