Thistles are weeds and prickly! They can easily over grow a pasture.
I was thinking of butterflies and saw a picture of one on a thistle. I had no idea that so many different thistles existed! The base is a machinery steering wheel. Each thistle flower is a coil spring encircling bed base mesh. The stems are piping and the leaves are all hand cut with an angle grinder and shaped to simulate barbs. The base leaves are “fingers” from an old wheat stripper (harvester). The whole piece is sprayed with Penetrol to inhibit rust and leave a shiny hard laquer like coating.