Sunday, February 3, 2013

Roses are Red ...and Welded in Steel

Welded Steel Rose, Spooky Bikes/ Chris Traverse
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.

Welded Steel Rose, Spooky Bikes/ Chris Traverse
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. 

Welded Steel Rose, Spooky Bikes/ Chris Traverse
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. 

Welded Steel Rose, Spooky Bikes/ Chris Traverse
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.

Welded Steel Rose, Spooky Bikes/ Chris Traverse
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

25 comments:

  1. Thanks. My Valentines Day shopping is now done.

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  2. A nice ornament. Still prefer flowers :)

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  3. "... it's always a little sad when they wilt"

    By the way, did you ever replant your Christmas tree?

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    1. We replanted it in the first week of January and I've been checking up on it about once a week. It seems to be doing well so far, despite the several snowfalls we've had since then. At least I think it's doing well: The needles are green, plump and oily, not yellowing or brittle. Fingers crossed.

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  4. I have never understood the appeal of cut flowers. Why would someone want a gift that requires the killing of the gift? Why not just let them live? Wouldn't that be better? Wouldn't you in fact have them longer this way?

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    1. The kind of flowers you would get in a cut bouquet usually have a short lifespan anyway. If you leave roses on the bush or tulips in the ground they wilt just the same (sometimes sooner), and then you have to trim off the wilted parts.

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    2. I see. Yet another piece of the puzzle falls in place ; )

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    3. BTW if you want to gift someone a festive potted flower that lasts and is easy to care for, have a look at African violets. I love having them around the house.

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    4. The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
      The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
      no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

      From "Walking Around" by Pablo Neruda (Translated by Robert Bly)

      In this way, I prefer the steel rose because it is dead and inert, and hence more peaceful. So I agree with you. There is a lot of tension in living things, especially when they are dying. No wonder people bring flowers to funerals.

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  5. Done! My aunt's birthday is on Valentine's Day, she will love this.

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  6. Done as well! Had to get'm before they were gone, BUT they'll always be around.

    Now, where can I find a lugged vase?

    Next year it'll have to be carbon fibre forget-me-nots or titanium tulips.

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    1. Titanium Tulips

      not a bad name for a glam rock band?

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  7. Love this, perfect for Valentines Day! Thanks.

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  8. Beautiful! I just sent my boyfriend a link to this... hope he gets the hint ;)

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  9. I don't know much about flowers, but I am really impressed with the story about Chris, the guy who makes them. Nice to see that somebody has managed to turn their life around.

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    1. And I don't know much about BMX parks, but my feeling is the same.

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    2. It is an interesting story, and both touching and impressive in its candor and in the expressive way in which it is written.

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    3. thanks again, i guess this was the first time i wrote about myself...

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    4. Nice work Chris but how can you stand working with that Mickey guy? Joke!

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    5. Thank you Chris for doing that.

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  10. Now that is really cool! And beautiful. And somewhat... mental. Like the Queen of Hearts. I love it!

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    1. of course, I forgot to mention the Alice in Wonderland connection!

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  11. There is now a video showing how the roses are made.

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