Copper roses sell out in record time

If you didn’t get here early, you missed out. All the “Forever Roses” for this year are gone.
The last of the roses sold out before 10:30 a.m., about 2 hours after the doors opened. Dozens of people waiting in line went home empty handed.
In what’s become an annual tradition, dozens of people were lined up on campus before 8 a.m. for the chance to buy the one-of-a-kind copper roses, popularly known as ”forever roses,“ from the from HonCC’s Sheet Metal and Plastics Technology program.
“Every piece doesn’t look exactly alike,” said Danny Aiu, sheet metal and plastics professor. “It’s all hand-formed. They may have been cut similarly but each is unique.”
Flower petals and leaves start as flat sheets of copper, which are cut using a plasma cutter and carefully molded into shape. Students assemble the individual pieces before hand-crimping each petal to give it a lifelike texture.
Copper roses will be available for purchase in the Honolulu CC sheet metal shop on Thursday, February 14, from 9 a.m. until supplies run out. Roses sell for $15 each or four for $50. Customers are limited to four roses each.

Honolulu CC’s Sheet Metal and Plastics Technology program is a nine-month certificate that starts every August. Graduates receive automatic entry to the Hawaiʻi sheet metal workers apprenticeship program.
Through hands-on experience, students develop skills in fabrication, architectural metal work, pattern development and more. Smaller projects such as crafting roses give students the opportunity to tap into their creative side and think about the possibilities of working with metal.
“When I do these types of projects, I hear students say, ‘I can make that,‘ ” said Aiu, who is often credited with creating the “forever rose” craze at HonCC. “You let them use their imagination.Then they start seeing the talent within themselves to make other things.

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