Pierced Eyeglasses [The Publisher’s Ring]

Pierced Eyeglasses

“People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things.”

- R. Buckminster Fuller

The idea of hanging eyeglasses from a piercing or a combination of piercings or even transdermal implants is something that a lot of us have toyed with — as I was writing this, my old boss Tom Brazda reminded me that almost ten years ago we made a set of them built around a 10ga bridge piercing (with both left and right-handed threading to make it adjustable). That said, I don’t think we ever took pictures, so maybe I’m making it up because I want to steal James Sooy’s thunder. He’s who sent me this gorgeous example of a piercing-mounted set of eyeglasses:


James is an artist currently designing and painting for Texas-based Magnificent Egos, a minatures (as in gaming) company. Art consumes all of his time, professionally and personally, and much of it is centered around character design, which gives him both time — and money — to fantasize about mods on fictional characters. With the help of his friend Oliver (who many of you know as one of the founding members and guerrilla engineers of the suspension group TSD) this fantasy was made real.

BME:  How did you come up with the idea of attaching a pair of glasses to a piercing?

JAMES:  I’m not sure… some time during the drooling days of high school the idea came to me. I kept it in mind over the years and got the bridge piercing this July and then started looking to make it happen. Maybe it had something to do with not being able to wear contacts.

OLIVER:  I had originally considered making a pair of glasses that hung from a bridge piercing for myself about ten years ago. It was just one of those things that seemed so obvious that I was surprised I hadn’t seen it done. I never got around to doing it then, since I wasn’t too keen on getting a bridge piercing. When I got a call from James inquiring if I could help him with some jewelry he wanted to make, and then he mentioned he wanted to do the glasses as well, I jumped on the opportunity. He already had the piercing done over at Obscurities, here in Dallas, so I knew he was more serious about it than I ever was.

BME:  And how did you guys formalize the design?

JAMES:  Oliver and I sat down for about five minutes one night to think over what would need to be done and he got straight to work making the brackets out of aluminum with a small mill in his garage!

OLIVER:  Originally we were discussing and sketching ideas that would have been considerably more involved to produce. The ones that we ended up making aren’t necessarily the final product, but seemed the best and easiest way to test the viability of the idea. The brackets were machined from aluminum, roughly to shape and then drilled and tapped on my little tabletop Sherline mill — a machine that’s far more suited to this size project than what I normally use it for! After a fair bit of tweaking and polishing with files and abrasives we ended up with what you see. The part you don’t see is a barbell from Anatometal.

JAMES:  The threading on the barbell was 1.2 mm, which happens to be a relatively uncommon and expensive thread (as far as screws go). The screws ended up delaying the project about a month. We used some lenses out of an old pair of glasses I had at first, but I decided to get some new lenses once everything else was finished.

BME:  What’s it like actually wearing it? What does it feel like?

JAMES:  They feel exactly like a regular pair of glasses, actually. I put the nose pads on to keep them from swinging around, so all the pressure is placed there, just like any other pair of glasses. Since they have no frame on the side I can wear them while I sleep and still roll onto my side.

BME:  Good thinking; so the piercing is more of a balance point than something structural. Does that make it more than just a “show piece”, and into something that you wear for real?

JAMES:  I’ve only had them for about a week now, but I’ve been sleeping and showering in them. I hadn’t taken them off in four days when one of the brackets cut me while I was asleep; I’d forgotten to sand the edges and they were still razor sharp. They’re back on now and seem reliable enough to take on a two week trip over the holidays; I doubt I’ll need to take them off during that time. Taking them on and off is a bit of a hassle, as it involves taking a tiny screwdriver and unscrewing them while they’re on my face — about a 5 to 10 minute process — which I suppose is about what you’d spend with contacts.

BME:  I hope they don’t get caught on anything… I suppose that could tear them out rather unpleasantly. Any thoughts on how the engineering might change for the next model?

OLIVER:  This pair isn’t quite what I was looking for both in design terms and in terms of fit. I don’t think they sit at quite the right angle to his face and we both want them to sit a little closer to his eyes, so we’ll probably make another pair in the near future. Much as there are so many designs and styles of eyeglasses currently being manufactured, I think there are a number of ways this design could be improved upon. I certainly think they look neat and ended up being far more subtle than I thought they would be. I didn’t even realize he was wearing them when I saw him a few days later, and he mentioned that most people don’t notice that they are only attached to the piercing.

BME:  What’s next?
JAMES:  I suppose I could try to make marketable version if I had ambition to do so — something easier to take on and off. As for me I only have run of the mill tattoos and piercings planned right now, but seeing how some of my friends and family are in the community and looking to push the frontier, it means I have the manpower at hand to try out what comes to mind, so I’ll keep trying out any of my feasible ideas. Being young and unsure where my future will lead, I’m quite reserved about anything permanent and visible, which limits what I’m willing to do right now… As well as not having the time or resources to work on any major projects, so it’ll just be the ones that steadily work their way in, like the glasses.

BME:  Since people are going to ask me, I have to ask… are these for sale?

JAMES:  As far as money I only spent about $10 on screws and $75 for new lenses. And I bought Oliver a meal.

OLIVER:  I don’t have any intention at this point of pursuing the idea commercially but it’s not something I’m averse to doing. If others were interested I might work something out with them. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a more developed version of these glasses from the existing body jewelry companies. I know there are any number of people here on IAM that could probably do a much better job both in the design and execution.

Be sure to visit James over at jamessooy.com, and of course you can visit Oliver at iam:antagonist. Thanks to both of them for taking the time to talk to BME, and for thinking creatively about body modification… Too few people understand that it’s OK to try something different or new.

Finally, I apologize that an article on the creative application of piercings has such an uncreative title.

Shannon Larratt

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

19 thoughts on “Pierced Eyeglasses [The Publisher’s Ring]

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  12. i suggest making the next model a discrete but powerful magnet, if of course that hasn’t already been though of.

  13. how do you take your glasses off quickly when you have sex? or you dont have sex?

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  16. Names says it: i am a professinal, and i should say that this not that new. A couple of years ago i went to Hannover (germany) were i saw a Punker with sunglasses wich were attached to doublepierced eyebrows. I don’t know if they had powers like the one the author had but he nonethless had the lenses mounted on 2 rings per lens… Kind a cool but 4-5 years ago…

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