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Enzo: A study in Function and Form
Functional art has been around since ancient times, from furniture and cultural relics of past civilizations to modern automobiles, cigar tubes, kitchen tools, and watches. When man first began creating objects to make life better there was the natural desire for aesthetics. The skills and mind sets of these artisans extend across many diverse aspects both creative and the pragmatic. Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles Tiffany, Frank Gehry, Dale Chihuly, and Gianni Versace are all examples of modern creators of functional art. Artist or engineer? Neither would be incorrect, but to use only one label would be selling the creators short, telling only half of the story.
In the world of cue art, first and foremost is that it must be functioning cue, as perfect in performance as it is in appearance. With the multitude of functional art objects in our world, it is of no surprise that objects exist that are outside of the average person's experience or understanding. Billiard cues fall into this category. Everyone that has played the sport is familiar with two piece custom cues. But most people are unaware of the precise skill and craftsmanship required to create a structurally sound cue that a professional would play. They are even less informed when it comes to high-end cues that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, running to six figures and beyond.
The availability of exotic woods, precious metals and stones, combined with the skill to inlay intricate patters, allows a select few cue makers to craft some of the world's most beautiful and exotic, yet functional objects. They have the rare ability to create a perfect blend of artistic creation and engineered function, to transcend their very trade, to stand alone at the top - from Alaska, Thomas Wayne, and from Texas, Richard Black.