Roses are as distinctive in their appearance as in their scent, making them a popular inspiration for a wide variety of three-dimensional art renderings. Use metal as a medium to create shiny, heavy and long-lasting rose sculptures that juxtapose the soft, temporary nature of natural plant forms with the near-permanence of metal hardware. Use metal roses as decorations on their own or as an adornment to other metal household fixtures.
Things You'll Need
Fresh rose bud
Sheet of craft steel or aluminum
Permanent marker with fine tip
Oscillating power tool with router-cutting attachment
2 cups oil-based modeling clay
“Helping hands” grip tool
Soft leather scraps
Pull apart the petals of the fresh rose carefully; for best results, use an over-bloomed rose, as these petals will already be loose and fairly dry (but not crumbly.) Separate the rose into its component petals.
Lay the rose petals out flat on the sheet metal. Trace around them in permanent marker, creating outlines. Discard the rose petals or set aside.
Cut out the petals using the oscillating power tool and router-cutting attachment. Cut inside the marker outlines so that the petals will be free of ink once cut.
Hand sand the edges of the petal cutouts to smooth out any metal burrs and dull any sharp edges.
Form the modeling clay into a large, flat, rectangular piece. Make it big enough to lay the finished rose on it and at least half an inch thick.
Shape the petals to form a rose, propping them up in the rectangular clay tab. Start with the tiniest petals, bending the first of these almost in half. Wrap the other petals around this one, curvy sides up, staggering them so that each new petal is centered over the outer edge of the last one, moving in a spiral outward. Bend the metal pieces inward and work from the smallest petals on the inside to the largest on the outside. Make slight alterations to this design as you see fit to make the rose shape you want.
Heat the soldering iron and prepare a damp piece of leather for wiping the iron.
Remove the petals from the clay tab one at a time, starting on the inside, and solder them together as you go, reproducing the configuration they were in while propped up in the clay. Lay the solder on the underside of the rose. Grip the forming rose in the "helping hands" tool and grip each new petal in the needle-nose pliers.
For gothic roses, use a silver blackening agent on the petal edges.
Work in a well-ventilated area when soldering.