Festka is well known for its creative collaborations, and the latest custom paint job resulting from a hook up with artists Ondřej Konupčík and Radim Kašpárek is a joy to behold.
The Czech bicycle manufacturer gave tattoo artist Konupčík and partner in art Kašpárek free reign with its road frame, the Scalatore, and Scout gravel frame.
The pair's technique, typically applied to canvas, sees material dipped into acrylic paints as they swirl on the surface of water.
The duo developed the style during the first lockdown, when Konupčík had to find an alternative outlet from his usual work tattooing.
Moving the process from a flat surface to a 3D object was a challenge, particularly when applied to the saddle, but evidently not an insurmountable one.
In a joint comment, the artistic pair described the process: "We don't paint directly on canvas or a 3D object. We paint on the surface of water held in a shallow tank. We pour paint on the surface using self-made tools which we call paddles. They are specially designed to keep the individual colours in parallel stripes which we blow and manipulate into the desired shapes.
"The canvas or the 3D object we’re painting sits at the bottom of the tank. The transfer happens by releasing the water from the tank very slowly."
Festka has enjoyed many collaborations over the years, the most famous perhaps being The Porcelain frame of 2019, "illustrated" by Michal Bačák.
The collaboration so far consists of just two bikes, Festka co-founder Michael Moureček said: "At this level, the frames are true works of art. Such personalised bikes often produced as one-offs or just a handful of pieces not surprisingly cost a small fortune, but the fact that the interest in them is growing shows that there are many cyclists out there who want to stand out and are prepared to pay for quality and uniqueness."
No doubt it's fair to call Bačák a little biased, but art historian Paulína Ebringerová noted: "Ondřej and Radim are among a handful of artists who have not been afraid to develop their own "analogue" style in this world where modern technologies seep into everything. The technological process they have developed requires considerable skill and a sure hand because it is irreversible."
You can see a collection of the collaborations from Festka, and a video of the creation process, here.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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