Jamie McLellan | February 12th, 2010
Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Kleyer, a New Zealander who lives in the once industrial but now hip suburb of Montreuil, a short Metro ride just outside of Paris. Bruce runs a woodworking and steam bending workshop together with Peter Steitzner.
Having acquired machinery originally used for building the arms of horse drawn carts, Bruce now uses it to produce exquisite furniture and Peter to produce wooden skis and snowboards branded Rabbit On The Roof.
Being an avid skier myself, Peter’s creations fascinated me. You could almost describe them as ’steam-punk’ - their modern P-Tex bases, steel edges and contemporary side cuts combined with single lengths of steam bent poplar and finished with brass badging and tip details. And whilst the skis might look a little old fashioned, it turns out they’re fast. Peter proudly told me they’re winning races at a very high level of competition.
My favourite set of skis were a pair that had been beautifully hand carved by a woman in Africa (I forget where exactly).
The name ‘Rabbit On The Roof’ is literally inspired by rabbits on the roof, and everywhere else in the building for that matter. I’ve visited quite a few workshops over the years and this is the first time I’ve come across one co-inhabited with animals!
Peter also rides a very interesting bicycle that utilises his wood bending know how. I’m not sure how safe I’d consider the horn-like handlebars to be in the event of an accident - I was much happier to riding pillion on Bruce’s motorbike to get back to Gare du Nord in time for my train.
PS you can read a bit more in depth info about Rabbit On The Roof skis here: http://rabbitontheroof.com/