Tim McNemar, President/Owner, of Arlington Optical was offered an amazing opportunity in April, 2012. He was invited to join a select group of opticians from around the world in a Tom Davies Eyewear. Design Workshop at Tom Davies’ design studio in Shenzhen China. Tim was the only United States representative at this workshop. Highlights and a few of the resulting frame designs are shown below.
Tim and Tom in the lobby of the Hotel Sandborg in Shenzhen China. After a 13 hour plane ride
and 4 hour taxi ride, I was really glad to get here!
Tom Davies (standing) at our first dinner in Shenzhen China at his favorite restaurant. Tom
gathered talented opticians from around the world for this workshop. Opticians from Germany,
Denmark, Australia, Japan, France and 10 other countries were hand-selected by Tom to
attend this workshop because of the design talent he saw from frame designs produced by
these opticians for their patients. He wanted to further immerse us in the process of designing
eyewear. I was the only optician representing the United States – what an honor!
Here we are ready to start 5 days of intense frame design at Tom Davies’ studio in ShenZhen
Immersed in my design process for my first Tim designed TD frames in the Tom Davies design
studio. Here I am reviewing sample mockup frames to finalize colors and decide on temple and
frame front thickness.
At this class, Tom is teaching proper sizing for bridge design at his “frame bar.” The eyeglass
sizers have different bridge designs that we can reference when building a “made-to-measure”
frame for our patients. The sizers are coded and have sensor markings. In our store, when we
are measuring you for your bespoke Tom Davies frame, we take your photo with the sizer
so we can size the frame to fit your exact features.
Reviewing CAD drawing drafts of my frame designs.
This is a titanium frame in production at the Tom Davies design studio, this frame has been
milled out of a single piece of titanium using a laser-cutting tool.
Here I am working with a former (pattern) to shape an eyewire. Since each frame is individually
handmade, each eyewire has to be hand formed to the exact dimension of the former (pattern)
so it exactly matches the custom frame we are making.
These tools are used to cut and mill acetate (plastic) frames. The cutters are attached to a
computer-driven robotic CNC machine that precisely cuts the acetate block to the
Tools of the trade – all Tom Davies frames are hand-finished and then tumbled in balsa chips
for 10-12 hours to smooth the surface of acetate frames.
TD engineer, Michael Jackson (yes that is his real name), is checking tolerances on a
“ready-to-wear” frame design. Tom’s ready-to-wear collection is composed of frame designs that
are available in our stores. Although he makes multiple frames of each design in this collection,
there are all still hand-made, one at a time.
Frames designed at the workshop under consideration for adding to the Tom Davies collection.
Tim Design #1: In April there were no ovals in my arsenal of frames and I had some requests.
This frame was was easy to design with the combination of titanium front with acetate temples.
Tim Design #2: As another response to patient requests, I designed this oval cat eye. The
crackled brown/black acetate resembles stained glass and was a great departure from the
standard tortise shell colors. I have also designed this with reverse black stones on the end
pieces which is quite stunning.
Tim Design #3: I designed this semi-rimless frame with color choices in acetate that can be worn
as a warm or cool skin tone. The heavier top rim and temples work well on a larger or round face.
Tim Design #4: This frame was inspired from another semi-rimless that I liked in Tom’s studio.
On the front is two pieces of titanium that are hand fitted. The top (blue) piece has a beveled top
which adds a difference in reflection as it is worn. the temples are crystal with a silver titanium
coring which keeps the glasses simple. It has been amazing the number of favorable
compliments that we have received on this design.
Tim Design #5: “Wild Side”! Laminating a polished titanium into an acetate front was unheard of
until now. Try it on and you will love it! Very unique and very European. This particular frame
color lends itself to a warmer tone complexion. but can be designed in any combination of colors
and can also be couture-designed.