Jamie Bartlett is co-founder of Banton Frameworks and he explains some of the processes he and Lucy Ross (Co-founder) go through to create their unique range of spectacles. The article below is written by Jamie and has not been edited by Cutwel Ltd.
Looking at the market we feel that eyewear design is overly flashy and over-branded with generally no consideration for the consumer. When we founded Banton Frameworks we set out to create a collection that reflected the individual and their personality. Our eyewear can be tailored to your own taste from our range of UK made components.
When designing the Tailor Collection we designed for a system using a concise but fulfilling array of designs, materials, colours and finishes. As a result, we avoided having a huge collection of frame designs that vary only slightly from each other.
Our aim is to deliver eyewear that not only has been designed and made well but enables the degree of personality that the wearer deserves when choosing such a personal item.
The idea of the Tailor Collection, is simple. You can choose your frame design and the frame material from our range of four acetates or a birch wood laminate. Further to this, you can then choose your colour of temple as well as the colour of temple tip. Below is an image of our ‘Roper’ frame in Graphite Grey acetate, Silver coloured temples and Havana red Temple Tips.
As spectacle makers we rely upon external processes as well as our own. It took three years to source the people and their processes capable of helping to produce our eyewear. We managed to avoid the well worn path to Eastern eyewear factories to instead focus on using what we had on our own doorstep.
Purchasing eyewear is daunting, sometimes confusing and often costly. We believe we have managed to create an alternative eyewear collection that creatively engages the design conscious wearer whilst engaging local manufacture in a more logical and cost effective way.
A summary of our internal process consist of frame machining; frame polishing, riveting and assembly. Between the two of us, each frame passes through these multiple processes in-house to reach you, the wearer. Each batch takes two weeks to complete resulting in high quality components ready to be tailored.
Externally, we rely on industry specialists that provide our anodizing, metal machining and glazing.
We use a multitude of processes in the production of our eyewear. We rely on precision machining combined with skilled craftsmanship to produce our Tailor Collection. To cut our frame from their sheet material, co-founder Lucy Ross is in charge of machining.
Sheets of premium Italian acetate and aviation grade birch laminate are manually cut into small sections using an industrial saw. These sections are then precision machined in-house, using our 3axis CNC milling machine. Using various cutting tools, including Cutwel end mills, Lucy machines each frame from the material sections. Seen in the photo below, a sheet of tortoise acetate is being machined into glasses frame inside the machine enclosure.
The sheet acetate is made from cotton cellulose, processed and manufactured in Italy. Whilst machining certain acetates, they can give off varying degrees of heat and material swarf. Interestingly our Havana acetate, red and black, gives off the smell of wine gums whilst being machined which was an unexpected discovery!
It was a lengthy and painful process of trial and error to finalise our machining methods. Using various end mills from Cutwel, Lucy can accurately and efficiently cut whole batches of frames in less than a few days.
We are looking forward to our launch of our online shop in March this year. Currently we are taking subscriptions that enable a 10% discount code in the run up for the launch. Have a look at our social media pages on Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks to Jack Lovell for including us in the Cutwel blog series.
Cutwel would like to thank Jamie & Lucy for agreeing to be the first company in our blog series and look forward to a long partnership with Banton Frameworks.
Our full range of milling cutters are available online here!
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