FROM THE FRONT PAGE Fresh vi­sion is a thriv­ing busi­ness

Wooden frames are 100% Kiwi made

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

A Glendhu Bay man has cre­ated his own take on tra­di­tional eye­wear, carv­ing wooden frames he has dubbed ‘‘fur­ni­ture for your face’’. Knot Eye­wear cre­ator Steve Lane said he had been pot­ter­ing around with the con­cept for a few years af­ter cre­at­ing a pair for him­self. He had bro­ken his glasses and de­cided to fix them, opt­ing to make a pair from wood. ‘‘Peo­ple no­ticed that. Friends wanted me to make more,’’ he said. So far he has de­signed and cus­tom built about 20 pairs, but with the ar­rival of a laser cut­ter this week he is hop­ing to evolve the process and ‘‘step up’’ the busi­ness this year. The laser cut­ter would mean more de­sign op­tions and cus­tomised frames could be made faster and the work would be a lot more pre­cise. The glasses are made up of sev­eral lay­ers of wood with eco-prod­ucts, such as basalt rock fi­bre tis­sue and eco resin made from bio feed stocks, ap­plied be­tween the wooden lay­ers to strengthen the frames and make them more durable. ‘‘I want the work as close to be­ing eco­log­i­cally neu­tral as pos­si­ble,’’ he said. A stone­ma­son by trade, Mr Lane said he had al­ways been a into cre­at­ing things. ‘‘A bit of a closet artist.’’ It takes be­tween eight and 12 hours to ‘‘build’’ a pair of the glasses by hand, de­pend­ing on how elab­o­rate the de­sign is. ‘‘There is no real re­stric­tion in style. It’s re­ally up to your imag­i­na­tion and what the ma­te­ri­als can han­dle,’’ he said. Dif­fer­ent wood species can be tricky as it de­pends on how well it can bend. For him it marks a shift away from the use of petro-chem­i­cals in ev­ery­day ob­jects. ‘‘I see this as my way of in­vok­ing some sort of change,’’ Mr Lane. He hopes in the fu­ture to be able to use the waste ma­te­ri­als to pro­duce en­ergy, to off­set the power con­sump­tion of the process, and cre­ate soil si­mul­ta­ne­ously through com­post­ing. The start­ing price of the glasses was about $400 and cus­tomised art work could be added as an in­lay, us­ing bone, green­stone, shell or other tim­ber at an ad­di­tional cost. Mr Lane said he wanted the frames to be as New Zealand made and made of New Zealand as pos­si­ble, us­ing ma­te­ri­als grown and found here. He was also plan­ning to be­gin ap­ply­ing 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy to his process . 3D prin­ters will al­low more lo­cal cre­ation as a sub­sti­tute to off-shore man­u­fac­tur­ing, which in turn would help keep lo­cal economies stronger, Mr Lane said. ◗ See Knot Eye­wear on Face­book or feel free to con­tact Mr Lane at steve@knot­eye wear.com.

Photo: CHE BAKER

Won­der­ful wood: Knot Eye­wear cre­ator Steve Lane in his workshop in Glendhu Bay.

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