Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Vinylize Makes Groovy Glasses From Old Records

I really need to set up an eye exam, and know it's time to replace my glasses, which are starting to get pretty beat up. So I've spent a bit of time thinking about glasses lately, and wondered if anyone out there was making glasses from reused materials. I came across Vinylize, made by Tipton Eyeworks in Budapest, Hungary, a company that creates eyeglass frames from old vinyl records.

According to material on their website, Tipton Eyeworks' founder, Zachary Tipton, was inspired to try old records as a material, by his father's old record collection in his garage. The first collection, made in 2004, was created from records salvaged from flea markets, fused with "biodegradable cellulose-acetate to insulate it from the effects of heat...As often as possible we use vintage acetate (always used on the Limited Edition series)." After milling with a precision CNC machine, they tumble each frame for "72 hours with wood cubes to make them smooth and shiny." See the "Quality and Design" section of their site for more information, and check out the video below, which provides an abbreviated overview of their process. On YouTube, you can learn about a limited edition set made from Pink Floyd's album High Hopes.

This article from the Budapest Times provides further info. Lovers of vinyl might be scandalized by the statement, "In the digital era the records have little use," but heartened to know that Tipton doesn't always send records the proverbial chopping block. When he finds one in good condition from an artist he likes, it ends up on his turntable instead.

Alas, Illinoisans, there appear to be no shops within our state that carry these frames, but if your heart is set on advertising your love for vintage vinyl, reuse, or both, on the prime real estate atop your nose, you can always shop online. The handmade grooviness is pricier than what you're probably used to, and probably out of my personal price range, but they're handmade and unique. I suppose some folks spend as much on expensive shoes, clothes, or jewelry. They even come with cases made from upcycled 7 inch vinyl singles--clever. And really reuseful.

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