01.07.13 What the hell is the org?
to answer that one, let me refer to one of my best clients. a man that discovered me during a 2005 brooklyn craft fair and at which time he plainly started speaking about ideas of industrialization and its connections to society as if he was with his friend but it just left me saying "uh huh". and it went on like this for a little while. i mean, he was a little thick compared to the moms with strollers that barged in and just said "oh that's so cool", but damn did i appreciate his thoughts.
so Ray Fisman is the man i speak about here. yes, he already has two pair of my frames and we are working on some sunglasses at the moment. well, he either digs my work or he just likes the beautiful twenty somethings in nyc hitting on him all the time about the specs. but to the point then, The Org is a book written by Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan about, well, about the Org. and these guys use me as an example, perhaps the smallest of small of the Org. what is too small to survive (me) what is too big to not fuck up (take a guess). im not going to go on pretending i know what these two know. if i knew a percentage of their economic and business wisdom and still had my ingenuity and hands, i wouldn't be writing right now. you would never hear from me again. but since that is not the case, ill be here making wood specs for a long time to come. if you want to understand though, how a solitary person like myself might fit into a larger whole, and i don't think i do, but if so, grab a copy of their book The Org, released January 8, 2013.
01.07.13 Seen oot and aboot .
for season 3 of Master Chef on Fox, i made a pair of wood glasses for Chef Graham Elliot. he wanted to keep with his well know white eyeglasses look so i found the whitest piece of Holly wood and went at it for him. they turned out great, but Holly is so white and non-grainy that it wasn't very noticeable on the television that they were made by hand from wood. it looks like that might change this year for season 4 of Master Chef. Graham just confirmed that he would like to step out of the white look and into something a little more bold and apparently wood. So it looks like for season 4, Graham will be wearing a pair of ironwood Urban Spectacles. i told him to check with Chef Ramsay's ego because i think these spectacles are going to steal the show.
and for those who like to dance into the wee hours of the morn with quite possibly powered noses, you might spot a pair or two of Urban Spectacles on Felix Da Housecat when he plays a club near you. Felix likes his ebony sunglasses large and in charge. here's a quick snap he sent me the other day. in the future Felix and i might partner together for a small run of his design of frames.
and here is Larry Bell of Bell's Brewery showing off his wood inspired costume for Bell's Eccentric Day. this sounds like a party.
11.13.11 my clients understand.
i am lucky enough to not have to sit around all day in some corrugated cubicle and pretend to keep myself busy. im able to do what i want any day of the week and also create something beautiful with my hands for somebody that will appreciate all of the work that went into it. now lets not idealize this, its still a job at the end of the day so that i can eat, pay rent and drink. i am never satisfied with what i create until the person who will be wearing it is, and pretty damn near all of the time, my creations exceed expectations. that is my reward. it is not the monetary compensation i receive for my skills, that is just to pay rent and drink and eat occasionally. my self worth comes to fruition when the person i make my frames for opens the package and understands my passion for my work and my philosophy. with that said, i would like to share a follow up email that i received from a great client of mine.
11.13.11 now hidden somewhere else in chicago.
a month ago, there were multiple poundings on my door late one saturday night. i came out displaying a large chef's knife to find out what the rapper wanted. after hearing the top of my building was on fire, i put the knife down and grabbed my dog herbie and went outside to investigate. sure enough, smoke and flames. so over the past month i found a new spot to live and work and am moving on. so good bye river north. you were a strange and sometimes oddly beautiful place. from here to the next fire, i will be hidden between wicker park and humboldt park. stop by sometime.
11.13.11 public image ltd.
the title of this post is not only a good band from back when but also a new section of my website that i hope to flesh out. in one vane, it will be somewhat like all those business sluts that pay too much money to put their 'products' on people in the public eye, but mine will not be restricted to that, plus, i will never pay money to put my frames on anybody. i would like this new development to include anybody i have made or will make frames for, to provide an environment where we can all share our lifestyles together. so take some images of yourself wearing my frames and ill put that into a new category and we can have some fun there. and while to me, i get to know a lot of my clients and appreciate them more than one would think, most people are still fascinated with those in the public eye. so for those, some people i recently worked with: reggie watts, felix da housecat, larry bell, gayle kwan chong, spike lee.
11.13.11 it takes time.
i do not have frames on stock. i design everything for the specific individual that i am having the conversation with. each pair is made solely for them. it takes a lot of time. some people wait years if they are so inclined. this aint lens crafters and you can't come to my workshop expecting to try on ten different styles. this is a completely custom operation with mostly one pair of hands doing everything. i do have a large waiting list at all times. so to the point, allow me to properly set my schedule in terms of first come first served. although, i do offer rush service for a premium if you really need those specs for your best's birthday or are an impulse buyer.
11.03.10 gift certificates
this was not my idea, but it is a brilliant one. i have had many people over the years want to have frames made as gifts and have actually made quite a few in such a manner. it is always best to include the giftee in the whole process, because after all, seeing the design proofs and deciding about them is half the fun of it (and remember, the gifter is not going to be wearing the specs, but the one who opens the box will).
so when i was recently approached to make a gift certificate towards a pair of specs, i was completely taken by the idea. and you know from me, you wont get a little piece of paper. you would get a thought out and engraved piece of wood indicating the amount desired (any denomination of usd, urban spectacles dollars) plus a personal inscription. i love the idea because now i can work on a gift pair for somebody and never discuss the monetary side of it all. that has all been taken care of. and the one receiving the frames is in on every process of the creation of the specs.
if i were more business savvy, i would have come up with it earlier. but they are now available. remember though, even the certificates are customizable.
11.03.10 collection update
well, i have come to learn and appreciate how to work and grow slow. it is an interesting and odd concept in the current time. if i were in this for banana boatloads of money, i would have already done so. but i have learned over my years invested in my art that it is striving for quality and admiration is what i truly adore about it all.
so, the would be collection available as 'prete a porte' will remain in the dungeon until it is actually time. and i will not be a prospector on its date. it will just surface one day and that is all.
11.03.10 saved by audio editing.
luckily for me, dj marie aka britt sondreal, is good at splicing recorded conversations together on the computer. if it werent so, the interview for her show 'sew and tell' on 'break through radio' would have just been one big incoherent ramblin' 'bout nothin'. most people who do interviews on tv or radio are coached how to do so, so give me a little break if you decide to listen in on it. (the interview cuts in after some time of music, either listen to it, or skip)
11.03.10 music lovers, well, lovers of odd music...
because you would probably have to be a weirdo to like my brothers taste in music. but, if you are just curious, or maybe even an avid record collector yourself; i am sure you will find something on his page that will expand your musical mentality just as much as i hope my specs make a few revelations for your mind.
3.23.10 extrie, extrie (old news)
be sure to check out the june edition of wired magazine to see a piece of my soon to be collection.
Urban spectacles are featured in this months house beautiful magazine in their investigation into all things wood.
in the new york times style magazine, t magazine, there is a gorgeous image of the wooyoungmi collaboration spring/summer 2010 spectacles. unfortunately, these sunglasses did not go into production with wooyoungmi, but i certainly still know how to make them. hint.
these mentions above can be viewed in the publications section. (while there, if interested in an exclusive and in depth look at this thing called urban spectacles, i suggest reading the damien james piece in art voices).
seen here is michael clinard, a great man who is lucky enough to be an 'on the house' member of urban spectacles for life. he saved my life in a boating accident. cheers michael.
HEY TV WATCHERS, LOOK FOR A PAIR OF URBAN SPECTACLES IN A NEW COMCAST COMMERCIAL.
* update, check out the 'publication' section to see the commercial.
3.7.10 to reminisce
for those who just cant get enough of scrolling. here is the old website.