I love the idea of supporting all the artists and craftspeople out there in the climbing world, and so I’m always looking to meet new folks who are climbers and are doing interesting things beyond the strict climbing realm. We are a diverse, creative and talented network, all connected by our shared passion for climbing rocks. Be proud to call yourself a climber, because we’re a pretty awesome group of folks.
If you’re looking to rock a new flat brim this fall, you’d be hard pressed to find a cooler one than this unique collection of titanium-plated Flex Fit hats from jeweler, climber and all-around badass Peter W Gilroy.
The titanium plaque features one of four iconic mountain landscapes: Grand Teton, Cerro Torre, Yosemite and Red Rock Canyon.
Peter sent me one of these hats, and I love it. Super eye-catching and unique. I’ve already gotten a ton of compliments on it. I reached out to Peter to find out more about who he is, and his creative process.
Tell me about yourself as a climber.
I live in Taos, New Mexico. I’m 30 years old, I have climbed since i was 19. I like all types of climbing. Bouldering is my go to and is what i really like to push myself on.
I also love sport climbing for its ease, and there is nothing like getting high off the deck on a multi-pitch trad route, especially way up in the mountains.
I also guide climbing in the summers with Mountain Skills and Jay Foley here in Taos. It is mostly new climbers i’m guiding but it is really fun sharing my passion with them.
How did you get into working with metal and jewelry?
I have always made things. I spent my summers in high school working for my uncle, who is a goldsmith. I went on to study photography in college and after graduating I started making furniture in an effort to be more hands on with my craft and create functional works.
At this point i started working part-time as a machinist for a jewelry tool company, and sort of fell back into metalwork, learning how to use the tools that I was making. The company makes hydraulic presses for forming and die work. I especially enjoyed the computer-aided drawing and machining i was doing and started making formed street sign jewelry and milled titanium jewelry for fun but it sold well so i kept going.
I’ve really been focusing on the metalwork and jewelry cause it has provided a way for me to interact with more people and share my passion for creating, as well as my passion for climbing.
How do you make these hats?
The colors are a titanium-oxide, which is part of the metal. It is formed by running an electrical current through the metal in a detergent bath. This creates an oxide layer of varying thicknesses and colors dependent upon the voltage. So I can use this to create my landscapes.
The colors are all inspired by dawn and dusk, with the varying shades of blue in the layers of the mountains and the sky a calm gold. The designs I have right now are some of the places that are inspiring and have always been stuck in my climbing imagination. The plate is then formed on a hydraulic press and riveted onto the hat.
What’s the best boulder problem you climbed most recently?
I recently sent an awesome V6 highball called Fun Bags at Mills Canyon, near Roy, New Mexico. The sandstone out there is sooo good!