HCC students construct "forever roses" for Valentine's Day

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Jade Storms

Flowers don't last forever, unless you received one of the "forever roses" hand made by Honolulu Community College Students for Valentines Day.

Students in the Sheet Metal and Plastics program are creating the unique "forever rose" from sheet metal, and this year, they also made a limited amount of roses from copper. The galvanized sheet metal roses were sold for $5 each, and the copper roses were sold for $15 each.

Sales started at 9:30 Thursday morning, but in less than an hour, all 360 of the galvanized sheet metal roses sold out and left many people disappointed, but they still waited in line in hopes of receiving a copper rose.

Sheet Metal Department Chair Danny Aiu said his students were only making 48 of the copper roses so there was a limit on how many roses each person could buy.

"The copper is one per person and we did four per person on the galvanized," Aiu explained. "So we tried to get as much in the line but the line wouldn't go away, it kept getting bigger as we started selling. My students do good work."

The forever roses have become so popular that some people have come forward and asked Aiu to produce more roses throughout the year, specifically to use the roses for gravesites. Aiu replied that he will not extend this fundraiser past Valentine's Day.

"I'm taking too much of the students time and they need to get back to the curriculum," Aiu said. "This is more of a fun thing and they kind of like doing it, but then we have to get back to reality and really get back to doing the curriculum part of the class."

There is a lot of work that goes into making forever roses, but Aiu added that they now have a computerized cutter that allows the students to cut more at a faster pace.

"It then starts with the main plasma cutter, and from the cutting portion we separate them into parts, they have to be hammered into shapes," Aiu said."Each piece has to be stacked onto the next piece, and then they take it to the back and solder it, then we come here and shape it"

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