Sunday, February 13, 2011

Glass Eyes

The Glass Eye Maker from Tomas Leach on Vimeo.

Glass eyes... I have always been intrigued. They are amazing, hard to recognize and rarely talked about. A friend in grade school had a little brother with a glass eye (he was born with a birth defect)... my mother had a friend as a child that had a glass eye (he had punctured his eye with a stick)... Did you know Sammy Davis Jr. had a glass eye (he lost his left eye in a car accident). There is always a story behind the loss of an eye, perhaps its the legend that comes with the prosthetic that intrigues me, perhaps its sheer curiosity. Honestly though, I am a glass artist and particularly obsessed with the process of crafting glass, so its the object itself that really catches my attention. Handmade glass eyes - Ocular prosthesis - Venetians began making them in the 16th century but they were fragile and uncomfortable. Later Germany became the source of higher quality glass eyes and the US stopped importing them during WWII. The glass materials were also made in Germany so American makers of prosthetic eyes started using acrylics. Now they are made out of all sorts of materials, I guess we just call them "Glass Eyes", sounds better than "artificial eye". I found this video on Etsy about a London based glass eye maker.

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