Number one with a bullet

Upcycling spent cartridges into the New Vinylize Executive Collection
Vinylize’s Executive line is already proving to be a hit with eyewear connoisseurs. The left field but highly logical idea to make eyewear from spent bullet casings came when Vinylize’s Zack Tipton found some spent cartridges on Maui a few years ago.
Vinylize Executive
“Nearly all spectacles are front heavy because of the lenses, which can cause them to slip down the nose,” Zack explains. “I realized that the heavy brass from the casings could be used on the temple tip – the two parts of a glasses’ frame that run from the eye rims are called temples. When you add weight to the temple tip, the frame stays on the wearers’ face.”
Vinylize Executive
Woody
Vinylize Executive .38 special bullet recycling
Ace
Vinylize Executive .38 special bullet casing recycling
Allman
Vinylize Executive .38 special casing recycled
Brian
Vinylize Executive .38 special bullet casing recycled
Carlos
Vinylize Executive .38 special bullet cartridge recycled
Dexter
Vinylize Executive .38 special casing recycled
Eric
Vinylize Executive .38 special bullet casing
Jimi
Vinylize Executive .38 special recycled
Satoru
Vinylize Executive .38 special bullet recycled
White
Vinylize Executive .38 special bullet recycled
Woody
Vinylize Executive
Ace
The result is a highly distinctive frame that fits perfectly with the Vinylize ethos and visual esthetic, making a statement in more ways than one.
.357 Magnum revolver

Making the Counterweight

The .38 Special cartridges are collected from shooting ranges. Vinylize upcycles the entire cartridge case.
The headstamp markings that show who manufactured the bullets are removed with a lathe. This leaves concentric marks on the surface that look a lot like the grooves on a vinyl record – a nice nod to the Vinylize brand’s USP. The brass casing is separated from the rim bearing the headstamp and melted into ingots. Next, the rims are fitted onto the acetate temple tip of the frame and crimped into place. After the frame has been assembled, it’s rhodium plated. Rhodium is a highly reflective silver-white metal extremely resistant to corrosion, which makes it tough and hypoallergenic.
Vinylize Executive
Vinylize Executive
Vinylize Executive
Vinylize Executive
Vinylize Executive

Bullets and the AC/DC connection

A fascination with guns and bullets has long been part of rock and roll, country and hip-hop culture, which fits perfectly with the Vinylize brand.
The expression “Number One with a Bullet” was and may still be used by Billboard magazine, the bible of the American record industry. If a record on its albums or singles charts was selling so many copies that it looked like it would become a hit, the magazine put a bullet symbol beside the name and the artists’ details.
Strictly speaking, a record couldn’t be number one with a bullet because it had gone straight into the charts at the top. The phrase was used to describe an album or single so outstanding that it was a good as you could get.
Highly appropriate for Vinylize. Especially as AC/DC boast “Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack” in the song “Back In Black,” from the landmark album of the same name used to make the classic Vinylize AC/DC collection.

Countless rock and rollers and hip-hop songs reference bullets and guns. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Back My Bullets” and AC/DC’s “Gimme A Bullet” from the album Powerage are just two that spring immediately to mind. On the hip-hop side of things, 1987’s “9mm Goes Bang” by Boogie Down Productions says it all.
Vinylize Executive
Lynrd Skynrd "Gimme Back My Bullets"
Vinylize Executive
ACDC "Powerage"
Vinylize Executive
Boogey Down Productions "Criminal Minded"
Tupac with a gun
Tupac with a gun
Johnny Cash with a gun
Johnny Cash with a gun
Cobain with a gun
Cobain with a gun
Lemmy with a gun
Lemmy with a gun
The list of rock and rollers and hip-hop stars who’ve posed with guns to show off their outlaw credentials includes Kurt Cobain and Tupac Shakur, who both died by the bullet. Lemmy, frontman of ferocious rockers Mötorhead, wore an iconic bullet belt until he shuffled off this mortal coil after years of hard, hard living.

Repurposing bullets for good

Zack acknowledges that there is a great connection between rock and roll and bullets. But he’s much keener to emphasize the fact that it is also about repurposing spent bullet casings to make a smart, practical frame.

“I’m inspired by everyday discarded manmade things I come across,” he says, “and unfortunately you find casings all the time in America.
September 10, 2019 by david holzer
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