We have been having a bit of a birthday festival over here. My birthday was on Tuesday and Jason’s was on Thursday. Flanked either side by my mother’s birthday and mother’s day it makes for an epic week of food, food and more food – followed by cake, cake and more cake. As we round the corner on the end of the week I thought I’d show you Jason’s birthday present. I realise that it isn’t very unique or interesting to get him another bike – that makes 6 in total – but he really wanted a fixed gear polo bike and other than clothes (which is the world’s most boring gift to a guy) I couldn’t come up with anything better. I did, however, come up with a way of adding something to it to make it unique and that is the reason for this post.
Jason has always told me the story of how he came home from hospital in a Valiant Charger. (I double checked with his mum last night and it is indeed true and not a tall tale!) The Valiant Charger has been one of my all time favourite cars and something we bonded over during our get-to-know-you phase in our relationship. Since then I have thought about buying one and often trawl through Carsales.com trying to find one but baulk at the level of maintenance it would need and the space we would need to house it. When Jason started moaning about wanting a polo bike I somehow thought about the Charger – I guess I was thinking valiant stead, Valiant Charger, or something like that. Then Jason came home from the River City Rollers the other day talking about this guy he had met who is an old-school, hand-painting, sign writer – Rick Hayward from Frank Creates. BANG – off went my brain! I had wanted to make Jason’s bike more of a birthday present and this seemed the perfect way to do it.
Rick is one of those people who thinks if it is worth doing it is worth doing well. The technique he uses would be long forgotten if people like Rick didn’t keep it alive. Most of the signage we see today is done by computer – it is perfect in every way – the font it uses is just a series of pixels printed by laser to be exact. There is just something so much better about the signs that Rick creates. They have emotion and soul – kind of like the difference between listening to a CD and an LP – it is the white noise, the sound of no sound, that makes all the difference. The letters look perfect but at the same time they aren’t – and that is the specialness of handmade things really, isn’t it? They have a patina that no computer can ever really recreate.
I am totally in love with this bike now. I think it is a thing of absolute beauty as well as being personally significant and funny as well. Thanks so much Rick!!! You are a champion. I also wanted to plug the fact that Rick has an upcoming exhibition of photographs called Tassie by Treadly which is opening on May 14 at 6pm at Black Star Coffee in West End. It is a $5 entry fee and you get a complimentary drink thrown in – come along, it should be a great night. I am just so excited about the bike – and so is Jason – the fact that Jason is likely to lose his teeth on it…well perhaps that will just add to its beauty!