Journal

18.08.2017 • Cubitts , Cubitts Bespoke , Design , St James's

Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier.

We're rather pleased to introduce Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier.

Located at 68 Jermyn Street, between iconic British shoemakers Crockett & Jones and Trickers, we'll be rubbing shoulders with the world’s finest shoemakers, hatmakers, shirtmakers and perfumers.

Ain't she pretty?

The Cubitts Atelier will offer our ready-to-wear range but focus on bespoke spectacles and sunglasses, the unique St James's collection and water buffalo horn frames. From September, 68 Jermyn St will also offer eye testing, including a working optician area for dispensing, adjustments and repairs.

Designed with our longtime collaborator Studio DR.AW, 68 Jermyn Street takes inspiration from the street's past - using traditional materials, elegant detailing, and the skills of renowned craftsmen and women:

  • The handpainted façade was made by glass gilder Alex May Hughes, using a traditional Boston gild technique.
  • The facade has been removed and replaced by a traditional curved glass frontage, with hardwood joinery, and blue glazed tiles, referencing the area’s heritage as the home of gentlemen’s style.
  • The consultation desks have been made by furniture maker Max Woodall, from a material palette of walnut, brass and marble.
  • The walls are clad with walnut mouldings in contrasting tones, concealing an eye examination room, where our lovely optometrists provide comprehensive eye tests.
  • A Cubitts library ladder is a subtle reference to the street’s academic past.

We've incorporated subtle nods to former resident, Isaac Newton, the English mathematician and all-round mastermind. The floor tiles are bold geometric shapes with a tessellating design, a nod to Newton’s ground-breaking work into geometry. Two vintage phoropters hang in the curved window, referencing his seminal work into optics (paving the way for John Dolland to create the world's first acromatic lens).

Other details include an original Thomas Cubitt SW1 lease (from 1847), a vintage Gent’s of Leicester copper clock, and Cubitts chess board, handmade from walnut, ash and brass.

Cubitts St James's is open seven days a week, from 10am - 7pm (12pm - 6pm on Sundays). Please pop by and say hello.

Store images by Ed Reeve.

Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier. Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier. Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier. Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier. Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier. Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier. Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier. Introducing Cubitts St James's, our first Spectacles Atelier.
10.08.2017 • Cubitts , Bespoke , Photography , Design , St James's

Objects by. The shop sign, by Alex May Hughes.

For our new Spectacles Atelier (opening this month), we commissioned glass gilder Alex May Hughes.

The rich navy blue was colour-matched to a Pyrolave tile. Alex then used a traditional Boston gild technique, applying gold leaf to create a gloss stroke around the matte lettering.

To see more of Alex's splendid work, visit her website.

27.07.2017 • Cubitts , Spitalfields , Design , Videos

Objects by. The shop facade, by Ian Harper.

Our Spitalfields Workshop opened last year at 86 Commercial Street. To restore this magnificent building to its former splendour, we commissioned Ian Harper, a decorative artist who specialises in woodgraining and other decorative finishes.

Ian applied traditional woodgraining techniques to create an English oak paint effect to the facade, matching the style of the existing shopfront. Wooden lettering was then cut, painted gold and affixed.

A true artist and craftsmen, Ian has been painting for other thirty years, having graduated in fine art. His work includes the iconic Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and the the mural of modern Spitalfields in the neighbouring Ten Bells pub.

For more on Ian, visit his website or read his interview with Spitalfields Life.

13.07.2017 • Cubitts , Sunglasses

Cubitts x Sunspel

To mark our sunglasses collaboration, we produced a series of images chronicling the key stages of production.

Left to right, by row:

  • Riveting a frame. Cubitts x Sunspel frames feature structural plaques and hinges that are pinned in the traditional way.
  • Custom detailing. Milling grooves for the Sunspel crest, which sits within the temple tips of our five silhouettes.
  • Tumbling. Using a range of compounds, from wooden chips to pumice, the frames are left for up to four days to create a lustrous glow.
  • The peg. The staple of a handmade frame maker.
  • Bumping and grooving. Creating a nose 'bump' in the bridge, and a 0.5mm groove to hold its beautiful child (the lens).
  • Doming the pin. Using percussion, creating an elegant dome to create a fixed point between hinge and frame.
  • Scribing the pattern. Transferring the pattern of the frame onto the acetate using good old-fashioned scribe and chalk.
  • Sawing and filing. Cutting the front piece from the slab of cellulose acetate.
  • Glazing. The process of cutting and fitting the lens, all with UV400 Zeiss tinted lenses.

 

Large-scale canvases of each print will be on display at Sunspel's Soho store at 40 Old Compton Street store this Thursday, 20th July from 6 - 9 PM, with Cubitts founder Tom giving a talk on the production process.

 

Visitors will also be plied with free booze, to help them get through the more esoteric moments.

To confirm your attendance, email rsvp@sunspel.com.

View the Cubitts x Sunspel collection here.

Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel Cubitts x Sunspel
29.06.2017 • Cubitts , Sunglasses , Spectacles , Design

Introducing our new colour, Slate

Introducing our new colour, Slate

A sharp cool hue, with a subtle chalkiness, Slate comes in high polished cellulose acetate - with a custom matte finish also available.

Available in seventeen silhouettes, both optical and sunglass.

Captured here by the wonderful Gary Didsbury.

See all Slate frames here.

Introducing our new colour, Slate Introducing our new colour, Slate Introducing our new colour, Slate Introducing our new colour, Slate
22.06.2017 • Cubitts , Bespoke , Cubitts Bespoke , King's Cross

Objects by. The Consultation Chair.

In need of a seating area for bespoke consultations at our King’s Cross practice, we commissioned David Ross of Superdreich to create a pair of consultation chairs. 

Based on a mid-century design, the chairs are constructed in Bethnal Green using an oak frame and slender steel arm rests. 

The linen cushions were upholstered by Ainsworth Broughton of Calvert Avenue, Hackney - London's traditional home of furniture making. 

 

08.06.2017 • Cubitts , Sunglasses , Spectacles , Spectacle Design

IN PRAISE OF GEOMETRY.

Introducing a quadrych of frames featuring bold geometric details. Joining Cromer and Wilmington, we welcome Wharfdale and Penryn. Each with faceted browlines, chamfered edges, and filleted contours - effortlessly catching the summer sun, but with a neoteric edge.

We invited artist Lydia Kasumi to create a series of paper installations celebrating geometry through colour - referencing flowing surfaces, parabolic lines, and Euclidean curves. These intricate paper structures are on display at each of our stores throughout June.

IN PRAISE OF GEOMETRY. IN PRAISE OF GEOMETRY. IN PRAISE OF GEOMETRY. IN PRAISE OF GEOMETRY.
08.06.2017 • Cubitts , Design , Videos

Objects By. Paper Sculptures.

We continue our series of eight short stories about objects at Cubitts and the makers behind them.

A series of paper installations.  By Lydia Kasumi Shirreff.

We invited Lydia Shirreff, who creates unique and diverse paper sculptures to work on a series of display installations to celebrate our new quadrych of frames - Cromer, Wilmington, Penryn and Wharfdale. 

Each piece has been delicately constructed from foam board and G F Smith paper in contrasting textures and tones to highlight the complex geometry of each piece.

Lydia's sculptures reflect the construction of the frame it has been made to compliment, with sweeping curves butted against straight edges to create juxtaposed objects of intrigue.

These intricate paper structures are on display at each of our stores throughout June.

 

01.06.2017 • Spectacles , Spectacle Craft , Videos

London and spectacles, a brief history

Following our spectacle-making workshops in May, our short documentary chronicles three centuries of spectacle making. 

Thanks to our friends Claire GoldsmithJason Kirk, Lawrence Jenkin, Charles Duffy and Neil Handley who made it possible. 

25.05.2017 • Sunglasses

Penton and Taviton

To mark the heliacal rising of Sirius and the coming of warmer climes, we have a brace of sunglasses to introduce.

Both inspired by shapes from the Seventies and early Eighties, Penton and Taviton feature the usual Cubitts details - pinned hinges, mitred joins, custom hardware.

They are fitted with Zeiss lenses, available in a range of colours (including low base mirrors). All offering full UV400 protection against our radiant master.

Penton is a bold aviator featuring a double bridge and paddle temples, inspired by oversized 'pilot' shapes from the Seventies. 

Penton is named after Penton Rise, on land that was comprised Henry Penton's fields. Formerly called Penton Place, it was home to a number a number of artistic residents, including the clown Joseph Grimaldi, the watercolourist and engraver John Boyne, and the artist and wood-engraver Luke Clennell. Today it is home to the Weston Rise Estate, a testimony to the brutalist phase of English architecture, built for the Greater London Council between 1965 - 1968 to the designs of Howell, Killick, Patridge & Amis.

Taviton is a butterfly shape with a deeply faceted rim, shapely sides, and narrow double dot rivet to the front (to conceal the temple construction). An homage to oversized sunglasses of the Seventies.

Taviton is named after Taviton Street, which cuts south from King's Cross into elegant Bloomsbury. The street was initially developed by Thomas Cubitt in the early 19th century, but not finished until after his death. It was named after the Taviton Estate in Devon, and in the latter part of the century was 'popular with actresses and clergymen'. Together at last.

The dog days are approaching, friends.

Penton and Taviton Penton and Taviton Penton and Taviton Penton and Taviton Penton and Taviton Penton and Taviton