Our shop window has been adorned with some fabulous works of art by some local school children. The Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery currently has an exhibition of Archibald Prize entrants, so the local school kids got in on the act and had their very own Archibald style competition. Some of the works are fabulous with very good likenesses of some well known personalities such as Chris Judd, Mr Bean and Sam Newman. Pass by and have a look! We’re at Rosebud Beach Shopping Centre near the entrance to Safeway.
We recently made a frame for Bridget. The lenses have been done and the job is now completed. We are really happy with the result and so is Bridget! Doesn’t she look stunning in her new custom made eyewear! The lenses are progessive transitions with anti-reflective coating.
Recently I have been making some frames by hand from cellulose acetate again. It is very satisfying work but is very time consuming to achieve great results. Many years ago I invested in some very specialized equipment for frame making. Most of it is made in France and Italy. I purchased it from two factories in Sydney which closed down. The machine below is a pantograph for milling the inside cut. The pantograph is no good for one off frames as the tooling up takes too long. The machine below that is a wire shooting machine to insert the wire and hinge into the plastic side. It heats the plastic then pneumatically drives the wire core into the softened plastic.
A very good customer of ours saw a blue frame I had made in our shop and liked it but wanted it in purple. She has a very small nose, so most mass produced frames don’t fit her at all, with a tendency to sit too low. I made this frame for her completely by hand using only a fret saw, files, wet and dry sandpaper and then three stages of buffing/polishing. The hinges are done in the traditional way with rivets. Her lenses are now on order and I will post some more photos once it is finished so you can see how they look on!
We love something a bit stylish and different and these Francis Klein frames from Paris certainly fit the bill! We met Dixie Klein and Marien in Tokyo in October and placed another order. It has just arrived so I have made a gallery below of some of these Parisian masterpieces for all to see.
I had a call from a gentleman the other day who has a very high spectacle correction for astigmatism. In his left eye he requires a power of -3.00/ -12.00 x 45. Now that is VERY high astigmatism. A lens of that power being displaced off axis by only one degree will cause intolerable blurriness to the wearer. So this poor gentleman had had glasses made at an optometry practice near his home in Melbourne, however upon taking delivery of the glasses he realised that he could see much better if he lifted up the left temple so that it sat 25mm above his ear. He went back to the practice that made them, however even after a couple of attempts at having the glasses re-made they were never correct and he always had to do the same thing to see clearly. Eventually he made a prop from a piece of cardboard which he stuck under the tip of the left temple so that the glasses sat at a permanent angle allowing him clear vision. The optometry practice in question (also frustrated no doubt at the laboratory’s inability to manufacture the lens with sufficient accuracy) basically put up their hands and told the gentleman that that is the best that can be done. Now the original prescription called for the lens to be made with an axis of 45 degrees, however it had been made to 40 degrees, which clearly indicated to me that the lens had swung off axis during the edgeing (shaping) process.
After finding us on the internet and some phone discussion, the gentleman travelled the one hour to come and visit us in Rosebud. One of the problems with the job was that the frame was oblong in shape with very square corners, which allows for absolutley no axis alteration once the lens has been cut and mounted in the frame! My suggestion to him was to choose a round or near round frame so that when we mounted the lenses we had some”wriggle room” to swing them around to the appropriate axis. Also, a small frame would cut down on the lens thickness considerably giving a better aesthetic result.
So I started the process by checking the axis at which he was wearing his lenses with the cardboard prop. I found this to be 50 degrees. So I marked up the new (uncut) lenses at 50 degrees and had him hold the lens and check the vision. Sure enough, 50 degrees gave the clearest vision, so I proceeded to make the lenses to his newly chosen round eye frame to an axis of 50 degrees.
Normally this would be easy, but this lens has a -12.00 cylinder, so what I found was that the blocking machine which attaches the block to the lens at the right angle kept skewing it off axis by 10 degress or so. After a number of attempts I managed to get the block on perfectly on axis. I cut the job very gently so as to avoid any axis swing which proved successful and the job ended up absolutely perfect.
Next was to try it on the patient and check his vision. Bingo! Perfect vision with glassses sitting straight on his head. I now have a very happy customer and I feel great having given this man’s vision back without the funny looking tilted glasses. A great result all round!
We recently went to Japan and picked up some more of these clip on sunglasses called “Caesar Flip 2”. They are beautifully engineered and and are very neat in appearance. They flip up and are completely customizable for almost any shape glasses. The example below is a sample I made for the shop. Lenses are polarized and are available in grey brown and yellow. We can custom make non polarized lenses to any colour or density if necessary for an extra charge. Not only that, we can make prescription lenses to fit these clip ons as well for those with special near vision needs. Yellow polarized lenses are great for fly or freshwater fishermen who need polarization in dull conditions.
Here’s a picture of them (below) in the flipped up position. They are completely unique in design and very light and functional.
The view to our shop used to be obliterated by an ugly garden bed that was poorly kept and attracted swathes of smokers. A couple of weeks ago they removed the garden, concreted over where it was and now they have repaved the entire area which is now completed! We’re really happy with the result; it’s a much cleaner look and everyone can now see our shop!
I made the frame below completely by hand using a fret saw, files and wet and dry. The polish is applyed by four stages of buffing. I made it for myself and it is asymmetric in design. The hinges are riveted in the traditional way and the plastic is Italian cellulose acetate. There are only four or five manufacturers of frames in Australia now. We used to have a major manufacturer in Sydney called Martin Wells. They were an icon of Australian optics but went broke back in about 1996 I think. It’s such a shame they were unable to move with the times and remain viable, alas they were addicted to the government’s protectionist policies and once tariffs were removed they soon faded away. Some of my machines were originally from Martin Wells.
The picture below shows the traditional riveted hinges. Don’t think they’ll break in a hurry!
The photo below is of an Inuit man taken in 1933 most likely in the North West Territories of Canada. For thousands of years the people living in the polar regions of the northern hemisphere fashioned protective sun eyewear to guard against the bright sun particularly during the spring as the sun began to get higher in the sky. They were often made of whale bone or antler, and in more recent times from wood as it became more readily available. The inside of the goggle was often blackened with soot to cut down on any reflections off the back of the eyewear, a simple but probably effective anti reflctive coating or perhaps closer to being a tint! They were held in place by a strap of some natural material such as the sinue from a caribou. The thin slots in them would also have given some assistance to any individuals with a refractive error as the pin hole effect would have been significant as long as the slits were cut finely enough. What a fine example this is of the inventiveness of the Inuit people and their ability to survive in such a harsh climate.