When wandering around Copenhagen you have the wide streets, the smaller streets and the very small streets. And then you have the alley-like passages you almost miss, unless you know they are there. And luckily I had an idea where I was going, thanks to a tip-off from Frans at Maritime & Antiques. What I found was very much worth paying attention to!
Cold & Heggem is a tiny little workshop that produces glasses. Nothing really unusual about that, you may well say. To which I would counter that yes, these are special. Made by Rasmus Cold, to his own designs and using his own techniques, the frames are made from either wood or horn. Real materials, hand worked, in 2014? When there are so many fantastic ways of moulding plastic and utilising an efficient production process in a low cost country? Believe it, and the frames Rasmus creates are mind blowing.
Each frame is custom fitted to the wearer, so there is no one-size-fits-noone here. The design is agreed on, as is the choice of material. Various Scandinavian woods are available, as well as a selection of sustainable exotic woods. Or have it in horn, if you like, where real horn is almost magically transformed into a unique frame.
Talking to Rasmus and hearing about the process I had one of those moments where I know I am talking to someone that is totally dedicated to their work, and finds immense enjoyment in what they do. I’m always envious of people who find such satisfaction in their work! I am also totally in awe of those that display the capability for true craftsmanship in the way that Rasmus does. The skill, the techniques, the designs and the materials. Just wonderful.
Another aspect I really like about having frames in horn or wood is that they require maintenance. You do realise that all good things require something from you in return for the goodness they provide you? Be it a vintage sportscar or a pair of proper leather shoes, if you want them to look and perform optimally, you must give something back. In this case, a light oiling every month is all it takes for all to be good in your visually impaired world.
Of course, this all comes at a price. The initial hour of fitting and design consultation and the 5 week delivery time has a cost. The fact that a dedicated and known craftsman creates your custom frames will be more expensive than the output of an injection moulding machine in a low cost country. Yet, in a world where items such as this often appear to be priced by pulling numbers out of thin air, I think a pair of glasses from Cold & Heggem are actually quite sensibly and reasonably priced.
And I find myself really really wanting a pair as my next glasses! Oh, you had sort of already cottoned on to that? I’m as transparent as the Zeiss glass I want in my new frames…