Homemade, home grown, product–origin…these are all currently buzz words that can be applied to anything from food to clothes…and of course bikes…
From Dirt Issue 130 – December 2012
Words by Mike Rose. Photos by Ed H.
These days people seem to care more about where products are made and how they are produced than ever before. One of the main reasons that companies like Orange and Hope are successful is that people like the fact that they are made in Britain by skilled craftspeople using their bare hands and knowledge (OK, and the odd CNC machine too). People care about how their stuff is made…well some do anyway.
Once upon a time trying to find someone in the UK who could weld you up a bike frame was near on impossible. Skills were lost as factories shut down, product manufacture moved to the Far East and UK frame building went underground and very, very specialist. But there has been a resurgence over the last few years. The fashion of the fixed wheel bike in London and other cities, and of course the current love of all things ‘bicycle’, has helped fuel a demand for something special – something crafted, something made, something personal that has a soul. Bespoked (the Handmade Bicycle Show in Bristol) and its (kind of) spin–off, The Bicycle Academy, have helped bring frame building out of the shadows. More and more people are learning the dark arts of gas and flame, and are setting up their own companies. And that is where Made in England, the book, comes in. A varied collection of frame builders from across the country discuss their craft. Names like Feather, Cooper, Mather, Roberts, Rourke and Yates just ooze flux and steel. The writing by Mathew Sowter and Ricky Feather (both bike makers themselves) provides a valuable insight into the life of the frame builder, and Kayti Peschke’s photographs beautifully bring those words to life.
Anyone with the tiniest interest in the art of the frame builder should buy this book.
Open Gallery7 Images