Custom vinyl LP eyewear brings on the funk

Scott Urban makes customized eyeglasses from bike parts, vinyl records and more.

Specs from bike parts
Scott Urban makes glasses from bike parts. Urban Spectacles of Wood

He started out fashioning customized eyeglasses from exotic wood. Now Scott Urban has branched out into using vinyl records, bicycle parts and even used beer bottles as materials for his handmade frames. Meet the McGuyver of the specs world.

Urban (even his name is cool) views glasses as an intensely personal form of self-expression, working closely with customers--author and Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow owns a wood pair--to design specs that suit their style. The results far surpass anything you'd find at LensCrafters. One pair displayed on the Urban Spectacles of Wood site, for example, features a bird and a heart intricately carved into two intermingling types of wood. Another pair, made for a music lover, is constructed from LPs of Hawaiian tunes and of legendary organ player Lenny Dee. Then there's the pair, pictured above, that sports a bike's main drivetrain and hammered safety brake levers.

"Every pair stands alone as an absolute original, born from my hands, to live on the bridge of your nose," the Chicago-based craftsman writes.

These specs feature a carved bird on one temple. Urban Spectacles of Wood

His creations, not surprisingly, don't come cheap--many pairs sell for between $400 and $500 and up. Still, they're pretty out of sight. Thanks to the Make magazine blog for opening our eyes to Urban's unique optical flare.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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