Denver artist Kagen Sound crafts wooden puzzle boxes at his studio in North Denver. His designs have earned him a worldwide following and more awards than any other artist at the annual International Puzzle Party.
Denver artist Kagen Sound tests out the prototype of a new puzzle he designed.
There are four drawers in the Lotus Box. Unlocking one reveals the pattern needed to unlock the next. "If you look at it as whole, it's a treasure hunt for patterns. You are working your way through these patterns to get to the end."
The Block Box helped Sound break into the world of puzzle boxes. "It was my way of expressing a maze in mechanical language," says Sound. "The interesting thing is these rectangles will actually start to move more than once and the paths will start to twist and overlap. So it breaks the rules of being a traditional maze."
A person has to play the engraved tune on the Pipe Organ Box in order to open it. Gravity keeps the box locked.
Kagen Sound is at work on a production run of his Lotus Box puzzle. "Big epic products tend to lend themselves to a big story," he says. "To me, there's an equal fascination in producing editions of boxes."
Sound crafts his puzzles out of wood in his Denver studio. "You are basically engineering with a moving target, with a material that contracts and shrinks with the season," he says. "That's probably why you don't see a lot of wood mechanical objects out there."
Kagen Sound at work on a Lotus Box puzzle at his North Denver studio.
This story first aired on Feb. 23, 2016.
There's something about a secret compartment. Few know that better than Denver artist Kagen Sound, one of the world's top makers of puzzle boxes. His creations are made entirely of wood and only a careful sequence of moves can unlock the containers.
Sound's work has won a worldwide following, says Jerry Slocum, the organizer of the annual
International Puzzle Party where Sound has won more awards than any other designer.
Colorado Matters visited Sound at his studio to unlock the secrets of a good puzzle.