Buffalo horn has been used for centuries by many cultures across the World to create tools, and fabulous jewellery. The lightweight, comfortable and natural frames are prized for their distinct colours and tones with each frame being unique due to the natural imperfections within the material itself. Buffalo horn has been used for eyewear across the centuries and is cherished for its beautiful qualities and splendour. Buffalo horn is a versatile and sustainable material. Hoffmann Natural Eyewear uses the horn of the Asian water buffalo for its natural horn frames. As the buffalo is honoured and protected in its native lands, the horn only becomes available after the natural demise of the animal. At Roger Pope & Partners we offer buffalo horn eyewear from a range of suppliers including Hoffman Natural Eyewear as well as an extensive buffalo horn repair service led by Damian himself. We spoke with Damian about his work repairing buffalo horn frames and how to care for these fabulous products.
Damian, thank you for taking the time to sit down with ourselves and discuss your work. Tell our readers, how did you come to specialise in buffalo horn frame repair?
For me it was the evolution of a passion. A passion to be able to assist clients in repairing a cherished item and restoring it back to its previous condition and glory so to speak. At the practice we were regularly approached by clients who were looking for a repair service. Our restoring service was developed in our lab to be able to respond to this necessity. I have over 14 years experience working with buffalo horn and for me it is about being able to understand the material itself. I fully believe that anything is repairable and apply this to my day to day work.
Thank you. What do you think makes a pair of buffalo horn spectacles so special?
To start, the material itself is luxurious and highly desirable. There is a certain something about working with a material that has been used for centuries, I feel a sort of connection to past craftsman when working with the material. Each pair of spectacles is unique - even if they are made from the same horn. The hardwearing, hypoallergenic material could last many years and there is a real sense for me of each frame being a one of a kind product that is treasured by the wearer.
In terms of your repair work, what are the challenges of working with the sustainable material?
Buffalo horn frames are very different from plastic or metal frames. When working with the material it is a mixture between a science and an artform. For example, when working on a pair of spectacles it is important that the material is heated properly not too much or too little and the frame must be oiled before beginning the work. Each pair is unique and my skill is understanding how each will react when I undertake my work.
What care tips would you advise to our readers?
If treated correctly buffalo horn spectacles can last you a number of years. I recommend having your frames properly serviced each year which includes sanding the frame and soaking the frame in a special oil to restore the qualities of the material. It takes two weeks per frame to service them correctly. Whatsmore, ensure that you care for the frame and do not leave them in a humid environment as the frame can dry out. Try and avoid the frame coming into contact with chemicals such as hairspray or make up.
Once again, we would like to thank Damian for taking the time to discuss his buffalo horn repairs with ourselves. For more information on buffalo horn repairs, contact our London practice via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us via 0207 935 2124.