Puzzle Maker, Bill Thompson, at the Gibson's Gallery at the Greenbrier's Art Colony
When you enter Gibson's Gallery and go upstairs to the production area, in the corner you will find Bill Thompson, the Puzzle Maker, busy making a new and different puzzle.
Bill Thompson is 87 years old and has been making puzzles for 18 years at the Greenbrier. The puzzles are made out of copper and soldered with silver. He has ten puzzles in his collection. His best-seller, The Heart Puzzle, is relatively simple but will amaze and mystify any audience. His most difficult puzzle, The Devil’s Needle, requires 36 calculated moves and confounds everyone.
Bill makes four or five puzzles each day. He says "When I make a puzzle, I sell it quickly. I have no inventory because they fly out the door. No one knows how to solve the puzzle initially, but when you buy one from me, I will give you a lesson and no one will be able to figure out the puzzle. I guarantee." I tried to solve the puzzle that Bill is holding in this picture, but I just couldn't do it.
Bill is the fourth generation puzzle maker. His grandfather was a goldsmith from London. "My grandfather made ten puzzles for me when I was ten years old.” My uncle, Stuart Thompson, graduated from Cambridge, Mass., and started a manufacturing business in Dayton, Ohio and would make puzzles for me. My dad, David Thompson, was a baker as well as a puzzle maker."
He even will customize his puzzles for his customers. Frequently, he makes puzzles for honeymooners and engraves it with their anniversary date.
Bill says his vocation is an artist and has a painting in the Cochran Gallery in Washington, DC. In 1973, he had a painting on display in the Smithsonian Institute. He said “Senator Joe McCarthy wrote that I was a communist artist because of my controversial painting, The Dove of Peace.”
"Dove of Peace" by Bill Thompson .... Doesn't look controversial to me.
Bill is a long-term resident of White Sulphur Springs and he started the first art class in the woman's prison in Alderson, WV.
Stop in and visit with Bill Thompson. Watch him make a puzzle, stay awhile and talk with him. He has a lot of history to share and loves to talk about his work.
Puzzle Maker at Gibson's Gallery
Artist Colony at The Greenbrier Hotel
300 West Main Street
White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
____________________________________________________________ Keep Connected On....
Keep Connected On....