A Swedish marketing and design firm known as Studio Total has come up with a product that combines the uniquely different hobbies of gardening and firing guns into one. The product, called Flower Shell, is a 12-gauge shotgun shell filled with flower seeds as opposed to the traditional metal pellets. The product will have a choice variety of flower strains including sunflowers, columbine, daisy, clematis, lupine, cornflowers, lavender, peonies, poppies, sweet pea, and more to be announced. I imagine the phrase, “that was a beautiful shot,” has a whole new meaning now.
Since shotguns are powerful and have a wide shooting spread, they are hypothetically perfect for disseminating seeds and the idea seems to be popular. A campaign to raise money for the venture was recently successfully funded on Indiegogo recently.
In an interview with Wired UK, Per Cromwell, the creator of the project, said that in creating the design, he “was thinking there must be a more fun way to garden and a more useful way of using guns. It started out like an art project and it grew, no pun intended.” Cromwell has already populated a large field with flowers with the use of 142 shells.
Of shooting the shells, Cromwell said, “It’s a good feeling, the violent blast, knowing this is the birth of a flower.”
At this point Cromwell assembles every flower shell by hand. The process consists of buying shotgun shells, disassembling them by hand, pouring the lead pellets out, filling the shell with seeds, and putting them back together.
The act of exchanging lead for seeds is very symbolic. Cromwell hopes to find a manufacturer in the U.S. to help him produce the shells in mass. He sees it as a good market where gun violence rates are high. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, there are 90 guns per 100 residents in the United States. Based on this fact, Cromwell seems to be right on target.
The idea impresses me in two different ways: it dually serves to make flower planting more exciting (as the creator said), while also making a statement about gun violence. Instead of using a gun for a violent or destructive purpose you can use it to spread flowers. The side of the green shell has a flower painted on it, a stark image in contrast to images brought to mind by guns.
It will be interesting to see if the idea takes hold because it seems some people have concerns about the safety and integrity of the shells given they have been tampered with. Another concern seems to be that people will not take them seriously and may shoot something they regularly would not with a gun. It seems to be a legitimate concern, but I believe gun owners should be able to spread beauty safely.