The Russian Rose Tutorial

Detailed Write-up of the Construction of the Russian Rose

There is a theme park in southwest Missouri, near Branson, called Silver Dollar City. In the spring of each year, they hold a festival called ‘World Fest’, where they bring craftsmen, musicians, and entertainers from all over the world to perform. In 1999, they brought a pair of blacksmiths from Russia, Alexander Romanov, and Slava Petrukov. Steve Robinson was the resident blacksmith at Silver Dollar City at the time, and he brought the Russians, along with their translator Natasha Varlamov, to visit me at the BPS Fabrications metal shop.

Because the timing was right, I was able to take them with me to the annual conference of BAM, Blacksmiths’ Association of Missouri, where they did an impromptu demonstration of this one piece, rolled rose. The process was written up by BAM’s newsletter editor, and since blacksmithing newsletters share articles all over the continent, it wasn’t long before the ‘Russian Rose’ had made its way from coast to coast! As in the game ‘Telephone’, when different people interpreted the writeups, the rose changed from maker to maker. I don’t think anyone has quite captured the easy grace of the Russian original. But since Slava gifted me with a rose as a thank you for being his host, I have had one of the originals as my model, and I think I get closer than most.

Here is a detailed write-up of the construction of the Russian Rose. Here is your opportunity to give it your own twist!