I encountered an interesting dilemma this past Valentine’s Day when tasked with the yearly game of “What should I get my Wife?” The usual catalogue of items scrolled through my head – chocolates, we don’t need them; cards, yes but they’re really not that special; flowers, yes but they are often a waste of money since they die – but what if they didn’t?

My solution was to create a wooden rose that would theoretically last forever.

The project required me to draw upon my old art skills as well as having to hone some new physical ones, especially since I had never worked with wood veneer and the whole project hinged on being able to curl the veneer so that it represented a rose petal; which oddly enough ended up being one of the easier parts of the project, once I discovered that boiling the wood to soften it worked just as well as trying steam bend it.

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The project took several weeks to complete; fortunately the rose petal portion was complete enough to show my wife on Valentine’s Day, but the rest required more time, to figure out how to create the stem, petals, and display.

Once I finally figured out how to create a stem out of a wooden dowel that had just as erratic of a shape as a real rose stem, the entire creation seemed livelier, as if it had grown out of the ground stained wood grain petals.

A little stain, lacquer and CA glue later, I had a fairly decent representation of a rose that I was pleased with and my wife loved.

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For once, the project turned out pretty close to what I had envisioned in my head. My only dilemma now is trying to figure out what to do for the next Valentine’s Day.