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The First Rose

The finished product
The rose head

Welded metal art – 2018 project #16; the last of that year. I had seen many examples of metal flora online and some of the examples involved metal roses. The rose was an effort that I had attempted early on using fairly large washers. The effort took much more time shaping and forming the washers in the vice and holding the washers in place to weld than it took to actually weld them together. There were many frustrating moments (I can’t deny that there was some cursing involved) and while I did see value in the end product, I abandoned the initial effort because it was just not coming together the way I wanted – it had become my nemesis. Now, with the abundance of various sized washers in the metal bin, I decided to resurrect the effort. The new plan was to form the rose in layers (like an onion) using smaller washers in the middle and graduating to larger washers on the outside. Each washer was hand formed in each layer and the outer layer washers involved two folds with the last fold representing the outer opening of the flower. The forming did occasionally involve chasing flying washers around the garage as they sprung out of the vice during the forming phase. After a few dings on my forehead I decided to don safety glasses and leather gloves (safety first!) to form the washers. I also found a little pre-bending helped keep the washers from cracking and breaking while forming them. The stem was made from some rod stock with faux thorns installed by welding feed wire on the stem. The piece was finished by adding two formed washers on the stem as flower leaves. This was, and continues to be, my favorite project to make. It is very original and 100% recycled. And they smell divine … they have a subtle industrial aroma with a hint of torched metal.

This first rose went to the wonderful lady in my life. After a little local advertising, it has developed a small but loyal following. The notion that metal floral design did have some possibilities in this venture – maybe I needed to start a metal flower shop? Was I about to become a metal horticulturalist? Did we just become best friends?! (Don’t worry, just quoting a line from a movie with the last statement). In all seriousness (yes, I’m trying) – recycle, enjoy and weld on!