Ever since we first ran into the brand years ago at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, CO, we’ve be enamored with all things Festka. At that show the lads from Prague were scrambling to assemble their booth a bit behind schedule, but lying on the floor was an assortment of beautiful bikes unlike any we’d seen before.
In the years since we’ve continued to be on the receiving end of new bike releases that often include special project bikes – like this Audi rally car inspired bike – and now we have latest release. A Scout gravel bike with special paint courtesy of a “collab” (as the kid’s would say) with artists Ondrash & Kasparek.
At the end of the summer FESTKA, the Czech manufacturer of high-end carbon bike frames, presented their latest collab with artists – the duo Ondrash & Kasparek (Ondřej Konupčík and Radim Kašpárek). The first bike made over by the artists was the brand’s top-of-the-range model Scalatore. The vibrant multi-colored scheme finished in a glossy clear coat went down a storm on Festka’s social media and received many reposts.
The second instalment of the collaboration is a predominantly blue scheme applied to a Festka Scout, a gravel model which is the latest arrival to the company’s model portfolio. In addition to the more subtle choice of colors, this frame is finished in matt clear coat which gives the designs another aspect compared to the glossy coat applied to the first frame.
Ondrash & Kasparek’s technique involves transferring acrylic paints from the surface of water onto canvas. The original idea, which Radim Kašpárek had been working on for several years on his own, was developed and perfected by the artists together during the first lockdown when Ondřej was unable to devote himself fully to tattooing – an activity in which he’s achieved great fame thanks to his unique abstract style. The method produces spectacular abstract paintings composed of organic multicoloured shapes on white as well as other colour backgrounds. Imagine clouds of ink squirted by a psychedelic octopus. Applying their floating creations onto 3D surfaces such as a bike frame, fork, stem and saddle presented them with a major new challenge.
“We’d been attracted to product design for some time and when the guys from Festka asked us if we’d like to try something with their frames, we were both totally up for it. 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,” the artists describe the technique.
The first two Festka frames decorated by Ondrash & Kasparek are available for sale as seen and orders are open for custom made frames or full builds. The artists offer the option of creating a painting with designs matching those on the frame. The painting will be priced separately.
The Ondrash & Kasparek treatment is available on all Festka models except ONE and Doppler. The company has devoted the project a dedicated microsite where customers can get a better idea of how to order. A number of examples give an idea of what’s possible. However, since the art is not repeatable 100%, Festka warns that clients need to allow for some flexibility in exchange for getting something truly unique.
For more: Festka Bikes