Banton Frameworks | WAM CAST #0004

Banton Frameworks | WAM CAST #0004

We took a trip to visit Jamie and Lucy who run Banton Frameworks to have a long-form conversation about their business and what it's like to be a small business. They handmake spectacles and sunglasses frames from their workshop by Banton Loch, just outside Kilsyth, near Glasgow. - (Please note, it was a cold and wet day in Glasgow and so the camera lens was a little misty due to the temperature - it clears up quickly!)

Extract from Edition Three, We Are Makers.

Why do what you do?

"It stems from Lucy’s project. Behind every business there’s some degree of a problem being solved – in Lucy’s case, a dissatisfaction with what was available from her optician at the time. Naively, we thought that we could do it better. We can now, but it took us almost a decade to get here. The result is better and, to us, much more personal to the wearer than mass manufactured frames made in their thousands.

Eyewear is almost like perfume or aftershave: apply the same perfume to 10 different people and it will smell 10 different ways. I think glasses are very much like that. Glasses are such a crucial implement – they help people see – but they are also a very personal and intimate item, as eyewear is a huge part of the wearer’s identity.

Glasses are quite simple objects – figures of eight with sticks on either side – but when you wear that frame for up to 16 hours a day, it represents you. I think it’s important to have eyewear that is made well. I don’t see it as any different to having a tailored suit, a smart pair of brogues or a nice handbag.

Frames can be very mass produced and almost loveless: you go into an optician and see rows on the wall and they’re basically just lens holders. Some manufacturers who we admire make very nice frames, but generally, mainstream optical brands lack the magic that we strive to produce.

So why do we do it? We do it because eyewear is a balance of fashion, identity and medical aid. We think that’s a pretty important range of roles for a single item." - Jamie Bartlett

This video podcast was filmed in Banton Frameworks workspace in Kilsyth, Glasgow.

Useful links:

We Are Makers
Insta: @weare_makers

Banton Frameworks
Insta: @bantonframeworks