While I enjoy receiving flowers on special occasions, it's always a little sad when they wilt. So for our anniversary a couple of weeks ago, I asked my husband for a steel rose from Spooky Bikes. With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought I'd mention it and post some pictures. These beautiful roses will last, and they make for a lovely way to mark an occasion while supporting a local artisan. I love mine; it is even nicer in person than in pictures.
Spooky Bikes are somewhat of a cult manufacturer, making road, cyclocross and mountain bikes in Bellows Falls, Vermont. I met them at the New England Builders Ball a few months ago and had a chance to see a few of their bikes. The steel roses are a side project, welded by Chris Traverse ("...alone with my cat and my coffee making roses that will make other people smile..."). The majority of proceeds will benefit the Sunset Ranch BMX Park in Western Massachusetts, which Chris established and continues to grow.
The roses are made of a mild steel, one petal at a time. The petals, hand-tooled leaves and braided weld-wire stem are then TIG-welded. They are available in a raw finish, or dipped in bright red acrylic paint. My rose is the red-dipped version. Only the tips of the petals are dipped in paint, still leaving sections closer to the base raw. The bare steel and the rainbow rings around the welds contrast nicely with the liquid look of the red. It is a dramatic, visually textured combination. The appearance of the flower is natural and organic, not cartoony.
There is variation in the shape of each petal, each stem, each flower. As it ages, there will be increasing natural colour variation. The steel looks delicate, but feels rather strong.
The roses are available as single flowers ($33), vines ($85), and dozen roses bouquets ($250), in both the raw and the red-dipped finish. Order soon in you want yours to be made in time for Valentines Day. Delight your darling and support our local bicycling craftsmen. A beautiful combination.
Says welder Chris Traverse: "The look on my friends faces when they pull into the trails to see what's new to ride is the same look on people's faces when they open up one of my roses." Chris has had an interesting history. Read his full statement here.