CoPilot Studios

Design - Innovate - Create

Announcing STAVE Sunglasses!...Coming soon to Kickstarter!

I'm VERY excited to announce something I've been working on in the background for a while now...Stave Sunglasses! Stave is a line of hand-crafted sunglasses carved out of solid whiskey barrel staves!

This is just the beginning, I'm working on lots of cool elements and new designs to add to the collection. Check out the new website at, mark your calendar March 18 for the launch on Kickstarter & don't be afraid to share the news!

2014 roundup! 2015 beginnings!

Happy New Year!
A lot happened in 2014 that I haven't blogged about just yet.

As of January 8th, 2015, Area27 got their final approval from the Osoyoos Indian Band to start development of the racetrack. I haven't mentioned much about Area27. Bill Drossos (my cousin) has teamed up with Jacques Villeneuve to make an epic Motorsports Club to be developed in the Okanagan near Oliver.  They have enough members and backing, and this thing is gonna happen!  I've been helping from the beginning working on branding, promotional materials, assisting track layout and zoning, building design, even helping on a driveable 3D track simulation!... pushing into many new design areas and learning lots of new stuff along the way.

Check out the Area27 website here, & below are some of the renderings I made for them:

CoPilot Studios has a 3D Printer on the way! Together with my friend Sandy, who also bought one, we supported M3D's kickstarter project to produce small, ultra-affordable 3D-printers.  Despite a few setbacks in production they've made good progress and we're looking forward to getting ours this spring.  Could I even be the first person to have a 3D printer on a sailboat!?  Either way, I've got some big ideas for applying this technology in new and interesting ways.

I have begun work on custom eyeglasses frames for clients!  While building the first client pair, I'm trying new design elements including doing science-y experiments for testing adhesive bonds to titanium (results to be posted soon).

Testing titanium in formulations of hydrogen peroxide to make a bondable oxide layer

Testing titanium in formulations of hydrogen peroxide to make a bondable oxide layer

Last fall, I made a custom tool chest specifically for making custom eyeglass frames.  This contains everything i need to work from my boat or to bring to a client meeting to help with material selection, measurements, or modifications.

Custom glasses building tool chest

Custom glasses building tool chest

I had a small project for my friend James Lester of the Sons of Vancouver Distillery where I drafted their site plans. They should be opening soon and I look forward to stopping in for a drink!

There were also a few other contract design jobs I worked on but cannot mention just yet due to confidentiality. All in all, 2014 was a busy year and look out for some exciting announcements early in 2015!



German Hinges, New Woods and Wood Sample Fans!

I have received some more spring-hinge samples from OBE Germany!  

There are five design variations and all seem to be top-notch in quality.  It will be tough to make a final decision between OBE and Visottica for my next order, but that won't be for a while until I implement the various designs and weigh the pros and cons of each... It may end up being that both are ideal, depending on the style of frames.

Last week I made the trek over to Saanich via the ferry and visited Westwind Hardwood.  Westwind is a FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and SmartWood certified supplier and I specifically went there to check out a wood called Tubi.  Their supply is sustainably harvested and exclusively grows in the Soloman Islands.  It's exceptionally dense, hard and quite machinable making it an excellent candidate for wooden glasses frames. While I was there I saw a beautiful chunk of Zebra wood as well which I had to grab.

To illustrate the qualities of the wonderful woods I have and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each without carrying a truckload of wood with me to a meeting, I decided to make swatch fans of the samples I could cut a chip off of.  There are a couple woods that I wasn't able to do this to due to limited supply. I can start with photos and if a client is interested, I can bring the full piece in to the next meeting.


CoPilot's second pair of frames

As I'd mentioned on our Facebook page, there was something brand-new on display at the Eastside Culture Crawl this past weekend, and here it is:

Completed second pair of frames. Made out of Gumwood and brass, using the new Italian hinges

They are made out of Gumwood (which I haven't discovered the exact species of yet) given to me by a family friend as well as some brass I reclaimed from a disused part off my boat.

These were made to test out some potential new construction options as well as fitting the Italian hinges. Based on feedback from the Crawl, I think they're a success!

Culture Crawl thank-you!

Hello All! It was great seeing everyone down at the Eastside Culture Crawl ( this past weekend. I had a lot of fun meeting new people and talking about glasses, art and the Community Labs.

I had lots of interest in copilot frames and it was awesome to see people getting involved and trying on the few frames I had on display.

I'd especially like to thank everyone at the CoLab who put so much time and effort into setting up for this show, you rock!

A bustling CoLab during the Crawl

A bustling CoLab during the Crawl

Copilot Frames Progress!

Hello all!

Exciting news on the Copilot Frames front!

I've received samples of a brand-new, high-quality spring-hinge design (first announced in September of this year) from Visottica in Italy specifically made for wooden frames! I'm excited to put these into practice and will show them in action soon!

A lot's been happening and I have more updates coming!

First post & an announcement!

Hi All,

Here comes the first post to the blog,facebook, and pinterest all wrapped up in one. It even comes with the announcement that I'm officially launching CoPilot Frames, where you can get your own pair of hand-built solid-wood glasses frames made by yours truly. Check it out here:



CoPilot Studios