Samsara Butterfly and Intarsia Custom Cue Stick

Samsara Custom Cue

General Cue Description-

Samsara built this ivory, ebony and rosewood burl intarsia butterfly/fantail masterpiece. The construction technique was a geometric nightmare, built in three sections: the ivory front with ebony to the x, the butt to the bottom x, and the center section. The handle (center) section of the cue is highlighted with four ivory ovals surrounded by 88 rosewood burl intarsia fantails that morph into butterflies, each edged by ultra thin red, yellow and orange veneers. One thing that makes this cue different from other butterfly cues is that everything is sharp and perfect. Beyond the rosewood burl fantails and butterflies, the pattern continues in 48 ebony, red, yellow, and orange fantails that progressively change angulation from fantails to butterflies. These emanate from four scalloped rosewood burl ovals, also edged with the red, yellow and orange veneers that transform from thick to very thin in a continual pattern. The front and back of the cue is elephant ivory. The joint collar and butt plate are rosewood burl and ivory joint protectors add an elegant finishing touch.

Here’s what the experts think- they are limited to 500 characters!

Dick Abbott

Dick Abbott

Dave Doucette and Jim Stadum are in a world of their own when creating masterpiece cues. I was privileged to have this cue for a few months, and I would take it out from time to time and marvel at it. I’ve inspected the cue with a 10X loupe. It is flawless, and the execution is surpassed only by its beauty, uniqueness and subtle complexity. Unequivocally a monster.

Fred Agnir

Fred Agnir

All of Samsara’s fancy cues are eye-popping and exhilarating. The blend of their intarsia-inspired geometry with perfect balance of natural wood and materials make their “standard look” the most unique in the industry. This cue is a reminder of all of the magnificent techniques and execution we’ve all come to know from Samsara, however this particular cue’s combination of ivory, ebony, and rosewood burl stand out with amazing harmony, elegance, and awe-inspiring beauty. This one fully deserves monster status.

Deno J. Andrews

Deno Andrews

The level of accuracy in the design and the precision-machining to produce this cue are achievable by very few cue makers. The ivory in the front and back nicely frame the colors, lines, and shapes featured in this cue. Using the Intarsia technique to produce otherwise traditional butterflies is simply genius. The flaring of the veneers and the crisp & clean lines are better than any “true” butterfly I have ever seen. Notice how the veneers around the oval flare in thickness, evidence of a curved-bottom inlay! The choice of woods was perfect. I wish I had more room to talk about this Monster; I’ll likely chime in below.

Jimbo- Jim Brennan


If this cue has any flaws you wouldn’t find them, after gazing at it for 3 minutes it has you hypnotized. While doing this review it made me quit smoking. In a world where design theft has become an all too accepted practice Samsara should be applauded for creating a *NEW LOOK*, I don’t consider this to be a typical butterfly cue. I love the colors and the Rosewood Burl is a fantastic wood, this cue is not only refreshing to look at but a Monster as well.

Jim Stadum

Jim Stadum

First, I would like to thank the rest of the panel for selecting this cue. (Honest, I had nothing to do with it.) This is one of our favorite cues. It was a nightmare to build but the end result was well worth the aggravation. Internally this cue is as complicated as the exterior design. It is balanced perfectly and plays great. A great deal of credit goes to the other half of Samsara, Dave Doucette. He is the genius who worked out the geometry and changing angles. Thank you and congratulations to Don and Anita Owen who own this Monster Samsara.

What do you think? Submit a comment and rate the cue. Justify your rating!-

19 comments to Samsara Butterfly / Intarsia Custom Cue

  • pharaoh68

    One of a kind, completely unique design! Perfect execution! Perfect use of colors! The ivory and ebony offset one another perfectly and the orange and yellow veneers make the colors pop! And the use of burl for some figure is excellent!

    This cue is a definite MONSTER for me… in design, execution, in just about every aspect!

  • jeff

    have always loved the unique, high end, cues from samsara!

    for me the originality alone, makes this a MONSTER all the way!

  • Templar

    This is a MONSTER cue for me too. Absolutely fantastic!

  • mair23

    There is no question for me, too.
    I always loved the technique Samsara is using in there cues, and not only in the High End Ones.
    The Intarsia Work, the Fantail Designe, don´t let us forget the Spider Web – wow – i realy love
    most of them. But when i read what work and problems go into the making of that cue, and then
    see the outcome – for sure, there is only one answer – Monster !!
    The only Samsaras i would top over this one would be the Original Twisted Sisters – Monsters, too !

  • Seeing this cue in person gives the five out to the pictures! I’m not knocking the pictures, they are as good as pictures get, but this cue is perfect! Don and Anita Owen, the “O” in OB Cues, bought this cue for Don’s collection. He just started to build the collection, and is doing it right with cues like this. Don and I are going to visit Jim next week to talk about the next cue. All I can say is “Stay Tuned”!

    Royce Bunnell
    the “B” in
    OB Cues

  • SactownTom

    Samsara cues are UNIQUE. I’ve not seen any of his cues that weren’t Monsters. This one is no exception.

  • Faster Felson

    A work of art and if it hits as well as Jim S. says then monsterdom for sure. I have always shied away from very fancy cues for the cost and bummer if you damage it in any way. If a cue isn’t chalked and used it’s just art. Collectors have just run the cost for cues up for everyone and they mostly never even chalk the tips. The ultimate question is where is the standard for usefulness?

  • This is too pretty to be a monster. So for me it’s the Giant Butterfly Monster in Monsters vs. Aliens 🙂

    Samsara knocks it out of the park with their merging of traditional woodworking and the precise limited area they have to work in with pool cues.

  • Eric,

    The cue was built in the past year.


    p.s. Still waiting to hear the story about the black dacron wrap.

  • Thomas Wayne

    Just a few points I’d like to make:

    1) The term “intarsia” has taken on a somewhat different meaning today than it originally had. If you search Google for the word you’ll find a plethora of websites devoted to the more current art of making a sort of tactile picture puzzle. Originally, however, intarsia referred to the practice of bonding pieces of material (i.e., wood, stone, etc) together in a predetermined manner and then cutting away at the finished “glue-up” to produce an interesting or esthetically pleasing look on a finished item. An example of this would be the purfling on the edges and around the sound hole of an acoustic guitar.

    2) All true butterfly points are overlaid, and are a form of intarsia – though Samsara has certainly taken this technique to an entirely new level. They pioneered the look that is so distinctively theirs, and has never been copied – not only because it is a look they clearly own, but also because there aren’t but one or two other cuemakers who even have a clue how it’s actually accomplished.

    3) There is no inlay technique I am aware of that Samsara is not capable of and fully equipped to execute if they so desire. The look and techniques that they have pioneered – straight fantails, twisted fantails, lapped and folded butterflies, diamond-pattern rings, bilaterally-truncated ellipticals… – remain the backbone of their work because that’s what they choose to build.

    4) When they first appeared on the scene there was plenty of whispering and backroom trash talking (among cuemakers) about how their cues wouldn’t hold up and how they wouldn’t succeed in the marketplace. To my knowledge the only thing they’ve really changed since I met them in 1992 is their joint system (the one thing I had any criticism about, btw). Of course, they’ve developed manufacturing improvements involving coring techniques, adhesives, finishing processes and so on – but the look and concepts they began with in the very early 90’s continue with them today, and these have solidly withstood the test of time.

    5) The cue currently under consideration is flawless under the closest scrutiny. I know this because I’ve scrutinized it. Closely.

    Thomas Wayne
    (PS: I’m sure I don’t have to add that it’s a monster in every sense of the word… but I will)

  • This takes the “butterfly splice’ to a new level, in all my years I haven’t seen anything like it. I say monster without a doubt.

  • I’d like to say a few things too:

    This cue in my opinion is like a Swiss watch movement- precision in every sense of the word. There are so many things to look at, and each time I do look at it, more great stuff jumps out at me. I especially love:

    1. How the butterflies in the bottom and top gradually get longer and longer.

    2. The sharp and clean veneer work. Anyone who knows butterfly cues knows that the veneers typically don’t do as well as they do in pointed cues. The ingenuity that went in to creating these clean veneers is simply genius.

    3. Cues that are elaborate are so typically unbalanced and gaudy. This cue has a great aesthetic.

    4. The depth and texture of the burl butterflies compared to the rest of the cue.

    5. The lack of veneers on the joint and butt cap- the whole cue has them, and in these places it would have been overkill. This small element makes a big difference in my opinion.

    6. The ivory ovals in the middle of the butt. This element is so important in the aesthetic and it perfectly ties in the light and dark sections of the cue and makes it “one.” It reminds me of Vermeer’s painting “Girl with Pearl Earring.” Check out the link and notice how Vermeer puts pure white paint (rare in painting) to make the highlights in the pearl earring, the eyes, and strangely a little dot in the corner of the mouth. This at the time would be considered a rogue technique, but it really makes the painting: Girl With Pearl Earring

    Other notes-
    I think it’s great that we have a budding community here who like to talk about cues and what makes them a monster or not. All the interactions thus far have been professional and to the point. My colleagues in the “expert” section are wonderful to work with and we are having a lot of fun with this. Famous cue makers and other experts have also chimed in and made wonderful observations about the cues. Their time and effort examining these works is greatly appreciated. Finally, the time and effort of all the registered users to examine and comment on these cues is also appreciated. While not everyone is an expert, I feel that most of the comments by registered users have been well thought out and articulate, so THANK YOU TOO!

    I have some more fun plans for this site, but we are going to take it slow and grow the right way. So please invite your cue-enthusiast friends…but please forget to mention cuezilla to the nits. Ok?


  • scottr

    For all of the design and execution reasons listed by others, this cue is Monster status without a doubt. With most cues, I can find something I don’t like or doesn’t work for me. I’ll be damned if I can see anything with this cue.

    Congratulation to Jim and Dave for creating such a masterpiece. And, also to Don for being the lucky owner of this cue. It is stunning.



    I think i just had an acid flashback.
    Beautiful cue.

  • Beautiful cue. Kudos. But, seems a bit busy to me, and the contrasts in color aren’t complementary, IMO. 9 out of 10.

  • Matt_24

    Although not a design that I would personally choose – one only has to briefly glimpse a photograph of this wonderful cue to see that it is without a doubt a “monster”.

  • mighty_smallfry

    Let me first say ABSOLUTE MONSTER as I am sure most will agree you will find with the majority of their cues. I have been an absolute fan of the Samsara line since I seen the “Twisted Sisters” years ago. Jim and Dave have an amazing ability to shock and awe. I love this cue. As busy as this cue looks, your eyes are able to settle and appreciate every inch of this masterpiece. The choices of materials in this cue compliment each other so soundly. Absolutely gorgeous! Congrats to Don on a masterpiece for the collection!

  • What a great cue! I’d love to see this MONSTER in person, I know the pictures don’t do it justice. I’m envious of everyone that has seen it. It’s like seeing a picture of some great food that you would much rather eat than look at. Anyhow, great selection for this week. Does this cue come with an OB shaft 😉

  • mojoe

    This cue is just flat out SICK!!! I absolutely love it, may be one of my top 3 favorite cues of all time.. Great job!

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