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What is missing in Cuemaking
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bstroud
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What is missing in Cuemaking - 09-28-2010, 07:19 AM

Cuemaking is a hybrid of sorts. It is a combination of art and craft.

The craft side has evolved to the point that perfection in construction and execution is possible.

The art side seems to be stuck in the past. How many more cues with points or boxes and inlayed with diamonds and dots will be made. Sure there is a place for cues like this. It's called a MUSEUM.

Why don't more cuemakers try something new and different? The apparent reason is that most, if not all, lack any formal art training.

I am approached frequently by people wanting to become cuemakers. They want to know about machines and software. I tell them all the same thing. Go to art school. Learn to design properly. Then become a cuemaker. That is what the industry needs.

I know that I along with a few other cuemakers have struggled long and hard to become better designers. It's not easy. I takes lots of time. The results are worth it.

It saddens me to see so many cuemakers with obvious talent succumb to cliches like "I like traditional cues". What they are really saying is either "I am afraid to try something new" or I'm doing just fine making what I am".

Either way it is a cop out.

Can the situation be changed for the better? Perhaps. The collectors' show that I started is one way and it is having a positive effect. More artistic cues are created every day just for that show.

The main way however is for you ( the buying public) to demand more of your cuemaker. Push on them for something new and different. Get them out of their comfort zone.They WILL respond with something special!

Sincerely,

Bill Stroud
  
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Winston846
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09-28-2010, 07:29 AM

While I'm not a cuemaker, I can say that there truly are people out there who like "traditional cues". I being one of them. In fact, I recently had a cue made where I specifically instructed the cuemaker that I wanted it to look like it was made in 1965.

Not saying there's anything wrong with trying new things, but I for one don't like a lot of fancy things in a cue and truly am a traditionalist.


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Traditional
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KSwiss10
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Traditional - 09-28-2010, 07:51 AM

I too am a fan of traditional cues. My cue is as plain as they come in the looks department. It is a Jacoby and is just a solid piece of cocobola with an Irish linen wrap. A few silver rings at the joints is as vancy as it needs to be. Also all that "art" adds a lot of time to the construction process and money when someone goes to purchase a cue.

My cue may look plain but it is a custom from Jacoby and plays great, and I didn't have to spend a lot of money to get it.

I think it would be cool to see some cue makers try different things but it's not for everybody.


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bstroud
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09-28-2010, 07:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston846 View Post
While I'm not a cuemaker, I can say that there truly are people out there who like "traditional cues". I being one of them. In fact, I recently had a cue made where I specifically instructed the cuemaker that I wanted it to look like it was made in 1965.

Not saying there's anything wrong with trying new things, but I for one don't like a lot of fancy things in a cue and truly am a traditionalist.
Winston,

You are the exact type of person I was trying to attract with this post.

There is nothing wrong with liking "traditional" cue designs but I would imagine that you are no long using "rabbit ears" to watch TV.

The point I'm trying to make here is that cuemakers just need to move on.
They need to try new things and it is people like you that can push them to do so. Give it a try next time. Perhaps you can find a bridge between a modern and a traditional design the you would like even more.

Thanks for your reply,

Bill Stroud
  
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09-28-2010, 08:03 AM

I ordered a cue from Chuck Starkey based on multiple pieces of mesquite and asked him for a Native American theme to the cue. I know this has been done before, but it's far from traditional. He also has expressed ideas for brand new designs, and is very excited about it. I'd like to think I'm doing my part with my first custom-ordered cue to promote new design

While I don't dislike traditional cues, I would never order one new from the cuemaker.


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bstroud
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09-28-2010, 08:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSwiss10 View Post
I too am a fan of traditional cues. My cue is as plain as they come in the looks department. It is a Jacoby and is just a solid piece of cocobola with an Irish linen wrap. A few silver rings at the joints is as vancy as it needs to be. Also all that "art" adds a lot of time to the construction process and money when someone goes to purchase a cue.

My cue may look plain but it is a custom from Jacoby and plays great, and I didn't have to spend a lot of money to get it.

I think it would be cool to see some cue makers try different things but it's not for everybody.
I find it interesting that you claim to be a traditionalist but I noticed that you play with an OB1 shaft. Hardly a traditional approach.

There is a clear distinction between design and technology however and perhaps one day you will make the leap in design and try something a bit different.

Thanks for your reply,

Bill Stroud
  
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09-28-2010, 08:12 AM

I am all for this. I check the gallery frequently to see what is posted and it is rare for something deemed "new" or even a cue constructed with a non-traditional technique being made. Recently Mr. Marshall posted some cues on here with a new approach to cue making and it is unique and I liked seeing it. I would love to see some more out of the box cues being made. I do think customers are afraid to request these things or even some cuemakers deny these requests possibly. I would like to hear feedback from other cuemakers in this thread. Maybe on my next cue I will come up with something to try.


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Shaft technology
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Shaft technology - 09-28-2010, 08:23 AM

Hello Mr Stroud,
About two years ago I spoke with a very well known cuemaker about new cue shaft technology and it's correlation to golf shafts in particular. The converstaion came about because I wanted him to build me a cue with two of his shafts and also an aftermarket new shaft made by another company. He was not very receptive to using the other companies shaft but I persisted. He is a golfer so I pointed out all the new golf shaft technology that has evolved in the last ten years or so. He finally agreed that the new golf shafts are an improvement over the hickory shafts I used as a kid! After hearing me out we did finally come to an agreement and everything worked out. I was somewhat surprised at the coaxing I had to do to convince him that sometimes new technology does work. Hopefully other cuemakers will embrace and experiment with new products and the billiard industry will benefit as a whole.
Dan
  
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63Kcode
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09-28-2010, 08:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstroud View Post
The main way however is for you ( the buying public) to demand more of your cuemaker. Push on them for something new and different. Get them out of their comfort zone.They WILL respond with something special!

Sincerely,

Bill Stroud
Carefull what you ask for. This is what happened when I let the customer have what he wanted. Warning these pics can cause monitor damage.

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=202930

It has been fun doing something off the wall though.

Larry

Last edited by 63Kcode; 09-28-2010 at 08:30 AM.
  
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09-28-2010, 08:35 AM

You build what the customer wants.

Pool is a traditional game and the meat and potatos buyers seem to prefer designs that look like a pool cue. That's what sells , that's what they ask for.

This also why most tables are also made using tradational materials , designs and colors. That's what sells, so that's what is made.

Different alone is not "Art" , New alone is not "Art". "Art" only sells if someone buys it , otherwise "Art" is just a museum piece.
  
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What is missing
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What is missing - 09-28-2010, 08:39 AM

Thanks Mr. Stroud, I was thinking about this just the other day. I was looking at cues with the idea of buying a new playing cue. What I saw was about 6 designs with minor variations from 10 different cuemakers and the prices went from $800.00 to $3000.00 depending on who made the cue. They were the same designs from the 60s and 70s. They were beautiful cues but I am ready for change also. I remember when Mike Shamus put the book out that showed some of the old Maces with the inlaid scenes and I saw a couple of scrimshaw cues that I would love to own.
Not every cuemaker is going to have that artistic ability but what would be wrong with going to an art class at a University and asking students for some design ideas and giving a cash prize for the ones you use. Maybe you could have them do something on a regular basis. Good Luck and thanks for all the great work you have done. If you do something like what I described I hope you will give me first chance at it , thanks.
  
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09-28-2010, 08:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Kcode View Post
Carefull what you ask for. This is what happened when I let the customer have what he wanted. Warning these pics can cause monitor damage.

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=202930

It has been fun doing something off the wall though.

Larry
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bstroud
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09-28-2010, 09:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRfireblade View Post
You build what the customer wants.

Pool is a traditional game and the meat and potatos buyers seem to prefer designs that look like a pool cue. That's what sells , that's what they ask for.

This also why most tables are also made using tradational materials , designs and colors. That's what sells, so that's what is made.

Different alone is not "Art" , New alone is not "Art". "Art" only sells if someone buys it , otherwise "Art" is just a museum piece.
I you are only making cues because "that's what sells" you might try some other line of work before you go crazy.

Bill Stroud
  
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Selling Functional Art
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Selling Functional Art - 09-28-2010, 09:11 AM

Bill: I have been struggling with the same problem since the middle seventies. I have designed, fabricated, and installed many thousands of Stained Glass panels in the last 33 years. Although the mix of art and fabrication are twofold, the ultimate goal was to enjoy the process and create new and different art pieces. It took less than two years to fully understand that what the public wants to buy and what I prefer to create are totally different. Most buyers are extremely conservative. Consequently, the majority of my work has been unfulfilling and boring, but has afforded me a decent living. The only Stained Glass artists who can think outside the box and make money are the very few famous artists who rarely do their own fabricating. Bob H
  
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09-28-2010, 09:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstroud View Post


Why don't more cuemakers try something new and different? The apparent reason is that most, if not all, lack any formal art training.
I think it's because there are a lot of people, like myself, that love the "old school" look. Personally, I can't stand some of the "modern" designs that I have seen. Give me a 4-6 point cue, with veneers and inlays, and a wrap, and I'm happy. Apparently there are a lot of folks out there who feel the same way.

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