What does Mottainai mean?
‘Mottainai’ is an ancient Buddhist tradition from Japan that means to have respect for the resources around you, to not waste resources, and to use them with a sense of gratitude.
The concept is closely associated with the conservation practices that people most commonly recognize as the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle – with a fourth R for respect.
What is Buffalo Horn?
Natural buffalo horn is:
– A natural product.
– Made from the horns of domesticated Asian water buffalo.
– From domesticated buffalo’s raised for dairy products, beef and as labor on farms.
– Not harvested merely for the horn.
– Lightweight and (in our multi-layered construction method) strong.
– Radiates a stunning, organic patina when worn.
– It is eco-friendly (and in the spirit of the Japanese ‘Mottainai’: even the surplus is an incredible soil fertilizer)
– It is hypoallergenic, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin.
* Only the most skilled workers, at the leading frame fabricators have the capability of carving and polishing horn materials in a manner suitable for luxury eyewear.
What is ‘In momento – In ictu oculi’?
On the inside of the frame, just above the eyes, “In momento – In ictu oculi” is engraved in gold. These are an outtake from Paul’s very apocalyptic ‘First Letter to the Corinthians’, meaning “in a moment, in the blink of an eye.”
‘Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed –
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet.
The trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.
And we shall be changed.’
Why all this gold?
Gold as its dominant color is based on ‘Kintsugi’: the Japanese art-form using gold leaf to repair cracked ceramics, to treat damage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. It fits seamlessly in the Mottainai tradition, but furthermore has it’s very own unique aesthetic beauty.
Who is behind Mottainai?
Mottainai is the creation of two friends; Bijan Azami, an optician renowned for his eye for craftsmanship and cutting edge design, and Joachim Baan, a creative director specialized in the fields of communication and storytelling, retail and art.
Mottainai was born out of Azami and Baan’s shared love for natural materials, the longevity of extraordinary craftsmanship and the timeless quality that is only realised through elegant design.
Together, Azami and Baan designed a single model: a frame, carved from the horn of the Asian water buffalo, by gifted craftsman in the world’s best natural horn atelier in the West of Germany.
Through a unique finishing process the frames are given an extraordinary distressed vintage appearance underlining the natural beauty of the buffalo horn, which will continue to evolve over the years.
How is it made?
Shipped from India, only the best pieces of Asian buffalo horn arrive at the factory in Germany to make it into Mottainai glasses. The buffalo horn is selected in a delicate process to get only the most beautiful color, grain and thickness to create the ultimate color shade and combination. The horn is then sanded to thin pieces and built up again into six layers (front-facing) or three layers (temples) of horn to give it strength and durability. The front is built up in two colours to create the iconic Mottainai Bridge.
After cutting and shaping the frame, the pieces are hand polished, machine polished and hand finished to make sure every frame is meeting the high standard of craftsmanship and quality. After this process the frames get their unique Mottainai finish, roughened and polished, and again repeating this process until a time-worn look has been achieved.
How do you handle returns?
If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, return it within 30 days of receipt and in saleable condition for a refund. Only personalized frames can’t be returned. All returns should be in ‘as new’ condition
How to care?
Because of its natural material, buffalo horn frames require special care. With every buffalo horn frame purchase, we provide you with a container of polishing cream. Every three months, buff a small amount of the polishing cream into your frame, paying special attention to the temples and frame edges. Avoid using water or chemical cleaners on your frames. Should your frame come into contact with lens cleaner, remove it immediately with a cleaning cloth. As with any other frame, avoid leaving your eyewear in extremely hot, humid climates for extended periods of time.