Tell us a little bit about yourself...
My name is Roscoe Siebers , I am 39 years old, originally from Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) South Africa. I moved to the UK nearly 8 years ago , 4 of wich I spent in London and now currently reside in East Sussex . I have worked as a welder fabricator now for 20 years in the skate park fabrication,structural steel, architectural, furniture fabrication, catering ( stainless steel) , aluminium , titanium/ inconel motor sport exhaust fabrication industries and now I work for Enigma Bicycle works as a Titanium bicycle frame builder/ welder specialising in high end British made Titanium road and gravel bikes. I am also currently working on my passion project called WLDLFE bikes building cromoly and titanium custom BMX frames. I have always had a passion to work with exotic materials and learn as much as I can about it.
What made you choose this career?
BMX has always played a vital part in me choosing this career, I had always noticed the beautiful welds on some quality BMX frames and was intrigued to learn how they did that, it would only be much later that I was finally confident enough to give it a go myself. I’m the mean time I started building skateparks around South Africa while learning new welding processes then finally moved to UK where I decided to properly pursue welding as a career, started out in London doing structural and architectural steel work, was introduced to black horse workshop where I saw an opportunity to try build my first BMX frame. Already being fimilier with the TIG welding process I decided to focus all my energy on TIG welding and its amazing capabilities, wich ultimately led me to where I am now , building titanium bicycle frames at Enigma bicycle work for a living, I never expected to be here although I always wanted to and it’s a great privilege to be doing this daily, gaining knowledge and experience each and every day. So I could say this career was what I was meant to do all along.
Did you go through formal education?
In South Africa I did fitting and turning/ tool making at school, but it was really my Dad who taught me to weld and fabricate in the beginning , the rest was self taught watching other welders and studying their work. When I moved to the UK I decided to get some papers behind my name, so I signed up to do a city and guilds welding and fabrication qualification through bright sparks welding training which took 3 years part time to complete. It was a very useful learning curve and gave me more confidence in my work.
It was beneficial to have formal training although gaining experience figuring it out mostly by trial and error was priceless, making mistakes along the way really sticks with you and helps you develop important problem solving skills. And all the experience I gained along the way to get to where I am now, I will forever be great full for.
Who inspires you?
Where do I begin with this one, I have so many inspirations, locally I would definitely say every person I have ever worked along side played a major part in inspiring me , all have their own unique styles and stories to tell which keeps you motivated, and some good friends where made along the way too. Internationally I looked up a lot to the other bicycle frame builders out there, like Mike laird from laird frames, Brad Bingham from binghambuilt, S&M bmx , terrible one bmx, fbm bmx, Toby from salvo bikes and Werner from Daylife / Founty bikes in South Africa, that’s just to name a hand full, pretty much any person who has taken what they love doing and turned it into a career I have massive respect for.
What is the scariest thing about your job?
The scariest thing I would say would probably be not having confidence, feeling like you are not good enough for the roll, but over the years I realised I was not alone in feeling like that and all my coworkers I have had the honour of working with have had similar fears. Knowing I was not alone was the best way to overcome it and realising if you don’t know a certain process is not the end of the world, you will learn it in the job . And most cases training is
What would you change about your industry?
What I would change about the industry would be to see more talented and creative welders / fabricators getting recognised for their work, a lot of incredibly skilled guys and girls I know just don’t get the recognition they deserve. Would be nice for welding to be seen as a top tier profession.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field?
The best advice I can give someone starting in this field is to pick a process or a style you enjoy the most and become good at that! All the rest will follow . Most of the people that I look up to have turned their passion into a career they love and cherish ,being happy with what you do may sound cliche but truely is the most important thing in my experience. And the best part is you will never stop learning so it will remain exciting and challenging for a long time to come, being able to create something from bits of raw material is a gift.