A New Generation
Fast forward a few years from the SSC days, and now my own "babies" are grown, and they have had the opportunity to learn the craft.
My kids, 20 years old here in 2021, were adopted by my late wife and myself at the ages of 14 & 15 months, in the country of Kazakhstan. It was an adventure of a lifetime, spending nearly a month overseas, knowing of only two people who spoke English. We visited the kids twice a day, an hour at a time, for two weeks. What an incredible transformation, watching them go from shy strangers to kids who reached for us when we arrived and cried when it was time to leave. After a few days at the apartment in Uralsk, we flew cross-country to Almaty, to process their passports and begin our journey home. BUT Not before Nick watched intently as the flight attendant demonstrated the operation of the seat belt. His first EVER flight, 15 months old, having only ever ridden in a car the three times with us. Neither kid enjoyed the flight, except for the part where Nick was constantly buckling - opening - buckling his seatbelt.
Our time in Almaty was uneventful, except we were on the 3rd floor of a tenement. We got all the paperwork done, and after spending Easter (and a 1-hour-plus cell phone call home) overseas, we boarded for Moscow, where Cheryl's parents were waiting anxiously to meet their most recent grandchildren. After a perfectly-executed hand off, we had a chance to sit/relax briefly. Built-in babysitters meant we also had a night out to dinner, and then hired a sitter through the adoption agency so we could all four adults go out to a show. First Class Swiss-Aire on the way to Boston was quite relaxing. Kids played with their Mémère and Pépère.
Through the passage of time, we moved from Charlotte, NC back to North Attleboro, MA in 2003. . .
Time warp forward to 2016, when Nick and I spun up the lathe and replenished stock, supplies and materials. We laid out what we would be making. Diverse and unique materials, and some form of balance in colors was key in our discussions. We aimed to create a number of novelties, writing instruments, graduation and appreciation gifts.
A recurring theme was "segmented turning" - something I have long admired, yet the how-to honestly, went right over my head. After a lot of research and observation I felt ready to give it a go. One of the results is posted in these pages. It is comprised of River Buffalo Horn, Caribou and Elk Antler, and Red heart wood. Segmenting involves having a concept and at least a sketch (if not an isometric or 3-D plan) for your pen blank. Then it's time to order (or pour and cure) the materials and start in on measuring, cutting, sanding perfectly flat, combining and arranging materials, gluing, overnight curing, cutting, sanding again, rearranging, gluing and overnight curing again as needed, to replicate the design. Then it's time for drilling, squaring and lathe-turning. Finally, on to the finishing which involves a multi-step process of sanding and polishing, and then final buffing and assembly.
That was mid-May of 2016, and after a few years' hiatus, the SSC torch was re-lit, with a bit of a face lift. Before long we were cranking out the beauties you see on this site. Fast forward again to 2021, and now It's Steve's Turn. We are in the process of building an updated portfolio of pens, pencils, bottle stoppers, bracelet helpers, seam rippers, and other novelty gifts. Between bits of experimentation, will be adding old stock and new creations to be posted in our Catalog before too long! So check back soon, and check back often!
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