Story by Keeley Van Middendorp
“We toyed with a lot of different names; for lack of better, we thought, ‘There’s nothing worse than a rusty lathe, so why not call ourselves Rusty Lathe Wood Design,'” said owner Daniel Escobedo.
Escobedo says his passion for wood design and creation started back in January 2016 after he received a small lathe for Christmas from his father.
“Started with a few cups and bowls and, then I learned that you could make a pen, so I started making pens and, one after the other I think I got better and better at it,” he said.
He and his family kept making pens until they soon had too many to keep.
“Both my sons are very good with their hands and so starting to make pens seemed like the fun thing to do,” he said.
They then started selling their products online and at places like the Great Falls Farmers Market.
“When we went to the farmer’s market, we really made some good sales there and people came in and they loved our pens and they bought them and from then on we kept going,” he said.
Since then, Escobedo has developed his craft into a side business that produces a variety of items made from Montana’s natural landscapes like razors, shavers, brushes and seam rippers.
“There are many people buying gifts and they want that piece of Montana. In fact, just this past weekend we sold some items- a shaving brush that had to be elk and had to be from Montana,” he said.
But, the majority of his efforts are still spent helping clients put pen to paper.
“We do pens- we do dipping pens we do fountain pens we do roller balls we do ball points,” he said.
Escobedo says he loves making practical items that are beautiful at the same time.
“People still use pens; there’s pen collectors all over the place there’s people that just y’knowlove to have ’em so that’s part of the excitement and the joy in what we do too,” he said.
Escobedo currently works in law enforcement but says they want to focus solely on Rusty Lathe Wood Design after he retires.
“The fun part of that is going to the shows and traveling and I think that in the future that’s in store for us- is to be able to go to different shows all over the state of Montana and reach out further than what we re doing now,” he said.
You can find Rusty Lathe Wood Design at the Great Falls Farmer’s Market.
For more information, visit their Facebook page, https://handmademontana.com/products/rusty-lathe-wood-design, or https://www.etsy.com/shop/RustyLathe.