How prosthetic eyes are made


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/18/how-prosthetic-eyes-are-made.html


#2

I met a young woman who paints the irises and pupils. She just fell into it, as prosthetics is her family’s business for three generations.


#3

Gosh, that was cool, except for the missing eye thing and all.


#4

I would have been disappointed if Blade Runner weren’t part of this story!


#5

This is simultaneously awesome and a little disturbing.


#6

I’m wondering why they bother with all the hand painting, just take a picture of the good eye and print it. The same layers of varnish stuff they use to protect the inking will protect that just as well.


#7

Ohhh now I see


#8

I’m only hazarding a guess, but I imagine depth is the reason. A single printed image won’t recreate the folds and depth and layers of light refraction as well as a painted image could.


#9

There is, of course, a “How It’s Made” episode on artificial eyes:


#10

I just do eyes, juh, juh… just eyes…


#11

I like how at 3:52 they discuss making arty non-realistic eyes. A minute or so into the video I wondered about that. “But if my eyes could look like anything, why just copy the other one?”


#12

Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite spaces, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.


#13

I wonder if the artist’s own exotropia got him into this field?


#14

I see what you did there.


#15

I still have a bag of lucky cats’ eyes.


#16

What kind of glass eye would most disturb people, just for the lulz?

I have a few ideas:

  1. One with a red LED in it.
  2. One that looks like a grievous injury. Maybe a straight scar across the pupil.
  3. An insect in the white of the eye.

#17

It might be pretty cool to have a prophetic eye, but then again, it might not.


#18

What’s surprising to me is how low-tech all of this is. It seems like making prosthetic eyes hasn’t changed much in 100 years. No high tech equipment, just store-bought pressure cookers, ancient-looking metal presses, grinding wheels, and paintbrushes.


#19

Like a lot of handicrafts and arts, it has pretty much matured tech-wise, and the end result is purely a question of how well the eye-maker can use the tools at their disposal.


#20

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