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Maker of pool cues from 1994 to 1996 in Chicago, Illinois.
Kyle Van den Bosch has been involved with pool since he was a young child. His father was the owner of the Chicago Billiard Cafe, (now run by his brother) which exposed Kyle to the world´s best cues and players for many years. A semi-pro for about ten years, he dreamt of making a living as a pro player, but knew that he would not like the lifestyle.
As a result of his woodworking hobby, Kyle became an apprentice for a Chicago-area cuemaker. During his first day on the job, he knew that cuemaking was what he wanted to pursue. Cuemaking allowed him to work within the sport he loved, while only being on the road for the tournaments he wanted to go to. After a year-and-a-half of learning cuemaking skills, he set out to make cues on his own. This was in 1994, when he started Mariposa Cue Co.
Although they were not marked, Mariposa cues are easily recognizable by their 15/32 in. diameter wooden joint screws. Approximately 40% of Kyle´s cues (60-65) featured rounded "flame" butterfly points with beautifully colored veneers. He made fewer than 30 "Two Flame" cues, approximately 25 "Four Flame" versions, a dozen or so "Six Flame" and only one with eight butterfly splices. Usually three or five veneers were used. The cues with six butterflies were often referred to as the "Carter Cue" as the first one was made for pro Jeff Carter. Ten Carter cues were made, several for Jeff, the rest for other Chicago players who liked the design. Most had a maple screw, and some of the earlier ones had nickel silver rings.
Mariposa cues have no inlays, as Kyle felt they weakened the integrity of a cue. KyLe Proudly referred to his cues as "environmentally sane." He refused to use ebony or ivory, and only environmentally safe, non-toxic glues and finishes were used. It took over a year of experimentation for Kyle to perfect this type of construction to his satisfaction. All of the wood Kyle used was harvested through sustainable yield forestry. Instead of using a steel bolt between the forearm and the handle to add weight to a cue, Kyle used denser and heavier woods under the wrap. For plain wood forearms and butt sleeves, Kyle would usually laminate two pieces of wood together, sometimes with a veneer between them. This made the cue stiffer, prevented warping, and allowed more wood grain to be visible. Most cues had solid maple handles under the linen wrap, but some of the later cues were made with laminated handles.
Kyle could often be seen at tournaments in the Midwest playing competitively and offering his cues for sale. He made Mariposa cues in his shop in the basement of the Chicago Billiard Café until 1996, when he left cuemaking.
Now, at age 30, Kyle is gearing up to get back into cuemaking. He still has most of his equipment, including a lathe and some blanks, and he is doing minor repair work. He is now looking for a permanent workshop space and is saving money to buy wood to start turning down. He has a lot of ideas for cue designs he´d like to make.
For information or authentication of a Mariposa cue, contact Kyle Van den Bosch, listed under Mariposa Cue Co. in the Trademark Index.

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