Why Lyrebird?

It really named itself.

The Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) represents an extraordinary fit with what I’m doing.

It is native to the montane forests of south eastern Australia, which are both part of the inspiration for the bikes and the source of some of the tonewoods I use, plus it’s subtly beautiful and renowned for the musicality and complexity of its song:

It is native to the montane forests of south eastern Australia, which are both part of the inspiration for the bikes and the source of some of the tonewoods I use, plus it’s subtly beautiful and renowned for the musicality and complexity of its song:

Armed with an idea of what I wanted but not the talent to make it happen I asked for help from the  Velocipede Salon community . Melvin Choo came on board and has done some extraordinary design work.

I already had an idea for the script I wanted to use, taken from the lettering used on veteran’s honour boards around the country: the particular example I used was from Prahran, where one of the names on the board is “Monash, John Sir”:

Lyrebird Cycles-monash-john-sir-jpg

Sir John Monash was the commander in chief of Australian forces in WW1 and yet there he is on the board with the ordinary soldiers.
On a personal note: I didn’t realise until later that he was the signatory on the citation for my grandfather’s medals for bravery under fire at Albert (near Pozieres) in 1916.

Initially we spent an afternoon talking about what I wanted to achieve and where all this had come from, with me typically wandering off on long tangents about such things as the association of lyrebird habitat with the myrtle beech and the importance of the myrtle beech to the history of the concept of Gondwana whilst Melvin asked lots of pertinent questions about the relevance of these things to the project at hand.

Melvin then got to work on some concept sketches that embodied the more relevant ideas:

http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/attachments/f22/90254d1456345003-lyrebird-cycles-scene-1-lyrebird-jpg

These are just some of the pages and pages of sketches he did: he put a huge amount of work into developing these ideas and liaising with me on how they fitted with what I wanted to do. Some things were very fluid: myrtle leaves went in and out of the design several times before finally being rejected. Some ideas came in and simply stuck, such as having the lyrebird “in song” and having five linear feathers to evoke the musical stave:

http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/attachments/f22/90255d1456345061-lyrebird-cycles-scene-2-lyrebird-jpg

The final design is wonderful:

Lyrebird Cycles-logo-black-gold-jpg

It balances elegance and complexity, it is at once laden with signifiers yet able to be taken as an entity by itself. I couldn’t be happier.

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