The drawing I sent to my Nono.
The finished product
A while ago I rebuilt the wheels of my Fuji Royale II. It had the gold anodized ukai rims. The rear one was warped a bit, and luckily I found a NOS gold ukai to replace it on ebay. But what to do with the old warped one? Should I really just throw it away?
No! On my ride to New Jersey last September I was inspired by some bicycle art I saw in Lambertville to have my Nono (grandfather) do a stained glass piece inside of it. I put twelve spokes in it, and shipped it to him when I got home. He has been doing stained glass for a few years now. I drew up the design and included it with the rim. It looks exactly like my drawing. He did an awesome job don't you think? He had to build his own template of wood to support the glass as he built it up. There was a hole in the center to accomodate the hub, and the template laid on top of a hollow box about 4" tall so it would lay flat. The spokes served as a support system for the soldering, allowing for the open space between the glass and rim.
I brought it home after our visit with them in Illinois last week. It is now displayed proudly in my window, ready to be shown off to everyone who visits. I have a few steel Ukai rims waiting for a similar fate.