I had a request last month to build a wooden carnival style game for Alpine Canada for an event to encourage people to come to their tent and learn more about the athletes on the Canadian Ski Team. Alpine Canada sent me a drawing to describe the game since none of us knew exactly what it was called. After a bit of research I found more information about the game and what it is called.
Jeu Gruyère is like an enhanced, three-dimensional version of Chutes and Ladders mixed with Milton Bradley’s Operation game. But it’s more than that: when you add the ability to control the ball carrier using a pulley system, you get a game that’s a challenge to both mind and body. The game consists of an inclined wooden board with holes placed at intervals and a wooden ball carrier that the facile Gruyèrist glides over the board via a system of ropes and pulleys that works just like a two-axis X-Y plotter. If the player is good, he or she can guide the ball to the top of the board without the ball falling.
I found a few DIY tutorials on how to build a the game (I found this tutorial the most helpful - Thanks Chico and Jo for sharing your design!) and started to plan out the build. I'll admit that my husband did most of the actual build. I love designing and prepping but I trust his attention to detail and proper use of power tools more than mine. After a few days we (he) had the game built. I sewed the ball catching blanket and added the painted mountain details and painted cradle and it was ready to go. We tested it out on family and found that even my young nephews could play it.
After delivering the game I got some photos sent to me of the game in action at the event. I think it was a success!
It's been years since I painted a gourd. I have several sitting around my studio and I finally picked one up and decided to make it into a birdfeeder. I have a new hole drill that I purchased for another project and it was perfect for cutting out the main hole. I then did a bit of design research and then went at it.
It was very fun to just sit and work away at it over a couple of days. Can't wait to see what the birds think of it next spring.
Here is a catalog of my creative adventures and experiments