A pool player is only as good as his or her cue, and no one knows that better than Willie Blade, a Ukrainian born cue craftsman. Thirty-one years of age, he’s been in the cue-making family business from the young age of fifteen, falling in love with, and developing a keen mastery ever since. The most important aspect of a cue?—that it fits the style and personality of its owner, everything else falls into place once that relationship is cemented. Style and form mean nothing if there’s no instinctive bond, but that certainly doesn’t stop Willie Blade from creating some fascinating pieces nonetheless.
What’s your favorite material to use? What’s your favorite design that you’ve made?
Thick wood is preferred. Some breeds like ebony, macassar, bocote, cocobolo, hornbeam and so on. I like to combine different contrasts, use black color with exotic pattern.
The most popular wood is hornbeam. It is white, but could be impregnated with any color. Hornbeam has excellent playing features and attractive price due to its cost.
What impression do you hope you leave on people who see your work, who may or may not be pool players themselves?
I want people to see in our cues not only a playing tool, but also a masterpiece. And vice versa. Not only a beautiful thing, but also a powerful billiards weapon which has perfect playing characteristics. The edge where masterpiece meets with reliability.
There is no doubt every person who has genuine interest could become a billiards player. It’s just matter of time and practice.
Someday all the many factions that make up the world of billiards (Russian Pyramid being one that Blade is more intimately familiar with) will meld together, and the game will further evolve in its diversity of both playing style, and players. The game will grow, that’s inevitable. And Willie Blade and his one-of-a-kind cues, will be right in the center of it—and maybe even too, held in hand in even the smallest and quaintest of pool halls in the most remote pockets of the U.S., and world-wide.
Blade: It’s a huge community and I’m grateful to be one of the [ones bringing improvement to the game]. willie-blade.com
Author: Ashley Kellem
Editor: Shaylyn Troop