student shaping metal rose

Honolulu CC sheet metal student Kanani Smythe creating a “forever rose.”

Every Valentine deserves a rose that lasts forever. Students from Honolulu Community College’s Sheet Metal and Plastics Technology program continue an annual tradition of crafting a one-of-a-kind Valentines gift that is guaranteed not to fade. The copper roses, popularly known as “forever roses,” are hand-crafted by sheet metal students every year and are sold around Valentine’s Day to help raise funds to support the program.

Flower petals and leaves start as flat sheets of copper, which are cut and carefully molded into shape. Students then assemble the individual pieces before hand-crimping each petal to give it a lifelike texture.

“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 they don’t all look alike,”

“The best thing about everything we’re doing here is I think just learning and paying attention to detail,” said Honolulu CC sheet metal student Kanani Smythe. “It’s kind of fun to make them nice and detailed so you can look at it and be proud of the work you’re doing.”

Added sheet metal student Travis Miyashiro, “Seeing the finished product, after all the hard work and then it just comes together, that’s cool.”

Honolulu CC’s Sheet Metal and Plastics program is designed to qualify students for entry into the sheet metal workforce. Through hands-on experience, students develop skills in fabrication, architectural metal work, pattern development and more. Smaller projects such as crafting of the forever roses gives students the opportunity to tap into their creative side and think about the possibilities of working with metal.

Added Aiu, “When I do things like this, I hear students say, ‘I can make that.’ You let them use their imagination. Then they realize, ‘I can make this, I can do that,’ they start seeing the talent within themselves to make other things.”

copper valentine roses

Sale information

The copper forever roses will be available for purchase in the Honolulu CC sheet metal shop (Building 17) on Saturday, February 13 from 9:30 a.m. until supplies last.

These one-of-a-kind roses make special Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day gifts for only $15 each.

Customers are limited to four roses.