A Video About…

Lens Options

Wooden Specs were designed to have lenses fit in them like regular frames. Either bring them to your local optician (we give you a set of tips to bring along) or use our online lens partner, who has fit lenses in many Wooden Specs frames.


The Idea, Philosophy, How They Are Made

The Idea

My career as a 'wooden eyeglass frames maker' (is that a career?) began as part of my quest, starting in 2005, to live a more creative and contemplative life (at least, more so than should be allowed someone with a mainly technical background--engineering and economics). I have always loved wood, and a couple decades ago I had the idea to make eyeglass frames from that material; in 2007 that idea became the object of my creative endeavor.


Making a wooden frame that was truly functional, while still retaining the delicate scale and subtle curves that I wanted in the frames, was a lot harder than I expected. There were, in fact, a few points along the way where I had to stop and ask myself just how much I wanted it. Whether or not I "should have" persevered (from a practical standpoint), I did and began selling the frames in April of 2009. Enough people have loved them since then to allow me to keep making them at my studio in the old Stutz Motorcar factory in downtown Indianapolis.

After making the "first" frame ("first" is in quotations because I actually made many, many frames before my "first" one, with all of the previous ones going into the rejected prototype pile), I looked at it and said "Eh, it needs something."  It wasn't enough for the frame to be just "wood," and so I started on creating an artistic identity for my frames, using (19th century) milk paints, wood-burned designs, precious metals, mother-of-pearl inlay, etc. to the point that I don't really think of "wooden specs" as being about wood anymore; rather, they are primarily about the art and design, with wood lending its natural warmth and beauty in a supporting role.

How They Are Made

The frames start as a block of solid wood in my studio. I then take thin slices off of that block and create three-layered blanks of wood using those slices (the middle layer of wood is cross-grained to

add strength).  So the frames are made from one chunk of solid wood, taken apart and then put back together again to maximize the durability of the frame.  After I have those blanks, I cut out the shapes of the front and sides (I don't use any computer-controlled machining--my hands are on the frame for the entire process).  Then I steam bend delicate curves into the pieces--just like a standard frame would have!  

I make my own brass hinges from brass stock and mortise those into the wood (with some details to add strength in this area) and spend a significant amount of time fitting the front and sides together. After all of that time is put into the frame, I carefully cut through the outside of each side to provide room for slipping a lens in.  I make a stainless steel screw anchor and press fit that into the opening as the basis for tightening the frame around the lens.  The cuts through the front of the frame are then typically incorporated into what comes next--the art of the design using milk paints, wood-burned designs, etc.  But before those elements are added, a three-dimensional effect is sanded into the front of the frame and the frame is carefully sanded by hand two times.  The artistic element is then added and finally a 100% natural hand-rubbed finish is applied.

The Evolution of the Frame

I love things that get better as they get older–like the patina developed on a wooden stairway banister. The intense handling that an eyeglass frame receives lends itself well to this kind of evolution–how the oil from one’s skin develops a character in the wood and how the milk paint wears off in places over time–even how any needed repairs can add to the story and character of the frame.  I think one of the most ethical ways to live in harmony with the world is to buy things we love and keep them!  And you don’t buy a frame like this for practicality–you buy it because you love it!

Your Choices

Currently made in 6 styles using 4 North American hardwoods and several artistic elements (milk paints, wood-burned designs, precious metals, mother–of-pearl)–the choices are many.

Over 5 Years In My Frame!

While any wood frame will be less robust in handling than a standard frame, Wooden Specs have been designed to be as strong as possible while not compromising their creator’s vision of detail, hand-crafts-

manship and delicate scale.  He has worn his frame for over 5 years in daily wear!

Subject: “Wow”  Message: “Peter, Only one word can describe those glasses: masterpiece.  I love them.”  Email from a Repeat Customer Upon Receiving His Frame, September 2013

Wooden Specs Studio - Wood Art Eyeglass Frames

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Wooden Specs Studio

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