A Tribute to Skiprat AKA: Steven Jackson

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jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
It has been said many times here by myself and others, over the years we have seen many talented pen turners come through these pages and behind them they leave a trail of artful display of pens hand made from many times scraps laying around in the shop. Along with that they leave behind a wealth of knowledge that they were so kind and willing to share as they took their journey. Thrown into the mix some wit and banter that made us all smile. To the new members here now and future ones who will join, I encourage you to take some time and look back at some of the older threads here and get to meet these members and see examples of what I am talking about. It will be well worth your time and effort. I can start rattling off a bunch of names and you can start doing your search but I know I will forget to mention names because there were so many. But you will see pens that are truely kitless and quite unbelievable. (let me start you with just a few. greeneyedblackcat, Eagle, Skiprat ). In this tribute I would like to dedicated to a member who we just lost to a courageous battle with cancer. He was a good friend of mine even though we were oceans apart but through this forum just like many others here we formed a friendship. It is just the nature and culture of this forum that makes it happen and to Jeff our owner and keeper we say thanks.

Just wanted to share a few things to demonstrate the person Skip was here and how and why many here came to enjoy his stay here. There is the serious side, the creative side and also the witty side. Now you will have to take in account the membership was a little different back when some of this took place and the ways of the forum were too. But all in good fun.

First let me start with Skips web site. http://www.skiprat-pens.com/gallery.php?p=1 You owe it to yourself and check out his work. All these pens can be found in threads posted here which will explain them and many had detailed explanations of his process. As I said he was always sharing.

Next back many years ago we had some great Bash Contests that took on a different tone back then but were all in fun. There was the Trash talking contest and was actually prizes for the best trash talker during the Bash. This revolved around a couple other contests such as The Ugliest pen Contest, The hardest to write with pen contest and even spilled over into the Freestyle pen contest. You have to look back at some past threads and contests to really enjoy the banter. Strating around 2010 and beyond. https://www.penturners.org/threads/trash-talking-contest.57481/ But the one that always got my laughbox going was this one. https://www.penturners.org/threads/freestyle-pen-contest.42811/ Skip was on fire in this one and got into it with many. While looking through that thread check out the cool pens.

Then there was the ever elusive "Ratty" Many older members may remember this playful adventure here. Here is Steven telling us of the news and his way of dealing. Check out post #35 and then someone asked him about Ratty in post #46 https://www.penturners.org/threads/good-news-bad-news.164492/page-2 Here is some back story on Ratty. https://www.penturners.org/threads/couldnt-resist.52111/ Well Ratty was passed around the world with each member taking photos of it when they got it and then it just disappeared but there are a ton of threads on the subject that just make you smile https://www.penturners.org/threads/whats-happened- to.65721/#post-1070425 If you look through this search format you can read all the posts that dealt with Skips little friend. If it has Ratty or Mascot in it then that is one. Too many to list. https://www.penturners.org/search/75903/?q=ratty&o=relevance

Next I wanted to touch on the generous side of Skip. He made a trip to the US and visited the Twin Towers in Manhatten NY after the loss of the towers and the rebuild. He was so moved he decided to make a pen set and what a pen set it was.
1648175207019.png


Then he sent it on a tour and was seen in many states and areas. But the best was when he decided to donate it to the Bash as an auction prize and what a prize to win. Here is the link. https://www.penturners.org/threads/auction-2-world-trade-center-set.138644/

Ok just wanted to add one more item that involves me and his friendship. I made a pen long time ago that he always admired. we talked about it and he said one day he wanted to copy and asked if it was OK. I said no problem you will do me proud and am sure will do an even better job. Well he surely did. Made mine look like an after thought. But this is the artisan he was. Mine is on the left and his is on the right.

Copy (2) of IMGP0937.JPG
1648175737809.png
Copy (2) of IMGP0937.JPG



https://www.penturners.org/threads/a-jt-cloned-panache-almost.135080/


OK that is what I wanted to post here showing a few sides of a person who touched many here. For those who have been here awhile, maybe a walk down memory lane and to those who are new maybe a little insight to what happened here. Hope you find some time to check out all the links included and hope they all work. But you can always click on Skiprats name and read many more. RIP my Friend.

John T.

If others would like to add memories here please do so.
 
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Sly Dog

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Nov 16, 2018
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I didn’t know Steven but was quickly aware of his presence on this site when I joined and I have read many of his posts. I visited his website a time or two since then, most recently the other day at the news of his passing. His Tips and Tricks are amazing (check out the jig for his pool cue blanks which I hope to make someday). The kitless stuff is far, far above me. Still, I appreciated seeing his amazing, beautiful work. Such a talent.

John, that’s an amazing tribute. His loss must be a deep one for you, so my condolences to you as well.

Russ
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
8,678
Location
Tunica, MS,
John, I hope you don't mind me posting on that I have not been able to get out of my head since I saw it in 2008:

The proportions that he chose have such precision and has just intrigued me.

This is the link to his gallery on this forum: https://www.penturners.org/media/users/skiprat.3090/
 

MPVic

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
481
Location
Hamilton, ON, Canada
John, your glowing tribute is a touching reminder of those who have 'gone before' us. Thank you for sharing your other 'vintage' memories, it's therapeutic to say the least and nice to see "where we came from".
 

Fine Engineer

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
209
Location
Carson City, NV
It has been said many times here by myself and others, over the years we have seen many talented pen turners come through these pages and behind them they leave a trail of artful display of pens hand made from many times scraps laying around in the shop. Along with that they leave behind a wealth of knowledge that they were so kind and willing to share as they took their journey. Thrown into the mix some wit and banter that made us all smile. To the new members here now and future ones who will join, I encourage you to take some time and look back at some of the older threads here and get to meet these members and see examples of what I am talking about. It will be well worth your time and effort. I can start rattling off a bunch of names and you can start doing your search but I know I will forget to mention names because there were so many. But you will see pens that are truely kitless and quite unbelievable. (let me start you with just a few. greeneyedblackcat, Eagle, Skiprat ). In this tribute I would like to dedicated to a member who we just lost to a courageous battle with cancer. He was a good friend of mine even though we were oceans apart but through this forum just like many others here we formed a friendship. It is just the nature and culture of this forum that makes it happen and to Jeff our owner and keeper we say thanks.

Just wanted to share a few things to demonstrate the person Skip was here and how and why many here came to enjoy his stay here. There is the serious side, the creative side and also the witty side. Now you will have to take in account the membership was a little different back when some of this took place and the ways of the forum were too. But all in good fun.

First let me start with Skips web site. http://www.skiprat-pens.com/gallery.php?p=1 You owe it to yourself and check out his work. All these pens can be found in threads posted here which will explain them and many had detailed explanations of his process. As I said he was always sharing.

Next back many years ago we had some great Bash Contests that took on a different tone back then but were all in fun. There was the Trash talking contest and was actually prizes for the best trash talker during the Bash. This revolved around a couple other contests such as The Ugliest pen Contest, The hardest to write with pen contest and even spilled over into the Freestyle pen contest. You have to look back at some past threads and contests to really enjoy the banter. Strating around 2010 and beyond. https://www.penturners.org/threads/trash-talking-contest.57481/ But the one that always got my laughbox going was this one. https://www.penturners.org/threads/freestyle-pen-contest.42811/ Skip was on fire in this one and got into it with many. While looking through that thread check out the cool pens.

Then there was the ever elusive "Ratty" Many older members may remember this playful adventure here. Here is Steven telling us of the news and his way of dealing. Check out post #35 and then someone asked him about Ratty in post #46 https://www.penturners.org/threads/good-news-bad-news.164492/page-2 Here is some back story on Ratty. https://www.penturners.org/threads/couldnt-resist.52111/ Well Ratty was passed around the world with each member taking photos of it when they got it and then it just disappeared but there are a ton of threads on the subject that just make you smile https://www.penturners.org/threads/whats-happened- to.65721/#post-1070425 If you look through this search format you can read all the posts that dealt with Skips little friend. If it has Ratty or Mascot in it then that is one. Too many to list. https://www.penturners.org/search/75903/?q=ratty&o=relevance

Next I wanted to touch on the generous side of Skip. He made a trip to the US and visited the Twin Towers in Manhatten NY after the loss of the towers and the rebuild. He was so moved he decided to make a pen set and what a pen set it was.
View attachment 331503

Then he sent it on a tour and was seen in many states and areas. But the best was when he decided to donate it to the Bash as an auction prize and what a prize to win. Here is the link. https://www.penturners.org/threads/auction-2-world-trade-center-set.138644/

Ok just wanted to add one more item that involves me and his friendship. I made a pen long time ago that he always admired. we talked about it and he said one day he wanted to copy and asked if it was OK. I said no problem you will do me proud and am sure will do an even better job. Well he surely did. Made mine look like an after thought. But this is the artisan he was. Mine is on the left and his is on the right.

View attachment 331504 View attachment 331505View attachment 331504


https://www.penturners.org/threads/a-jt-cloned-panache-almost.135080/


OK that is what I wanted to post here showing a few sides of a person who touched many here. For those who have been here awhile, maybe a walk down memory lane and to those who are new maybe a little insight to what happened here. Hope you find some time to check out all the links included and hope they all work. But you can always click on Skiprats name and read many more. RIP my Friend.

John T.

If others would like to add memories here please do so.
Thanks for all the links John, I'll go and look at them.
I just saw the notice of his passing the other day, and am new enough here that this was the first I'd heard of Steven. After looking at his website, I now see what a truly talented artist he was. Both in creativity and execution he had the artistic creativity of vision, and the skills of a truly talented craftsman for the execution. I think his mistakes were probably superior to my best efforts so far (but his example is truly aspirational for me).
This area of craftsmanship is truly poorer for his passing, but so much richer for him having been in it. Rather than dwelling in the sadness (a luxury I have not having known him personally), I like to revel in what is here rather than what is missing, and will continue to find what he had done and be inspired by those creations.

Jeff
 

jttheclockman

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Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
16,636
Location
NJ, USA.
I wonder if Gordon (flyitfast) still has the World Trade Towers?? I hope he sees this and answers. Just wondering what happened to that all time work of art. That was some auction.
 

sorcerertd

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Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
1,354
Location
North Carolina, USA
John, thanks for sharing this. I never really got to know him, but became familiar with his work. I was amazed by the ingenuity and precision of his creations from the first time I saw one.
 
Joined
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Messages
421
Location
Chesapeake city Maryland
John, You are truely a great friend to Steven for posting this tribute. Steven was a Master Craftsman, great friend and mentor to myself and the entire IAP community. My heart is sad with this news. He will surely be missed around the world.
Sorry for the late reply,
I regrettably don't log in frequently enough and am absolutely floored to hear this tragic news today. Rip Skiprat
 

jttheclockman

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Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
16,636
Location
NJ, USA.
Jim, I mentioned you in the other thread you posted to about Skip. He indeed was a true friend who I met here and we just hit it off because of the same likes that are brought out within this forum. Many miles apart but still friends. He truely is missed and I again mention that I thought of you because of both your talents to make such great one of a kind works of art. The precision of pen making was brought to high talents were done by you and a few more of the older members that passed through here. Hope he has a great shop set up when we get to meet again.
 

howsitwork

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Messages
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Thirsk
I only exchanged a few lines with him over the few years I’ve been on here John. He was an entertaining sparring partner on things, with a lively wit.

I thank you for providing all the links for people to explore and learn from. I am sure that is what he would want us all to do.
 
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