Novelty Eyes

On occasion I create a novelty eye for a client.  I have two basic rules.  The person is over eighteen. They have been wearing their prosthetic eye for at least a year.  So I never make a novelty eye along with a person’s first eye.

Novelty eyes are in fact more difficult to make than a normal eye and inevitably take more time.  They have to be as comfortable and well made as any prosthesis that I make.

They’re generally a special occasion item. Football colours for game days, for example.  There are a couple of people I know who wear their novelty eye all the time.  One of these has an iridescent yellow smilie face that really stands out.  Another has a tiny goldfish in a blue iris as a joke about the fishing accident that caused the eye loss.  People tell me that they really enjoy the reaction when their eye is noticed for the first time. One of my clients requested a novelty eye with a BMW logo known as roundel.  He put his photo on BMW’s website and it attracted many positive comments.  He says “When you lose an eye it really helps to have a sense of humour.” Have a look at his BMW eye.

For me, there are mixed feelings about novelty eyes.  I ask my clients not to wear them in their visits to the ophthalmologist because I’m worried they might see it as unprofessional.  After 18 years building a reputation for natural looking eyes, I would rather this is what specialists have in their mind when they refer their patients to see me.

But what other people think shouldn’t matter. Its the client’s eye. Maybe a novelty eye is about an individual’s journey of self-discovery.  It is like an amazing piece of jewelery, haircut or a jacket. It’s a talking point, and defines the person in much the same way as piercings and tattoos do. People deal with eye loss in lots of different ways. If someone is confident enough about their eye loss to draw attention to it and have a bit of fun, that’s healthy and a true expression of themselves. So why should I refuse to make a novelty eye, just because I’m concerned about my reputation?

So I’m an Ocularist who does make novelty eyes when they are requested. I respect my client’s choice, and know that for some having a novelty eye is important.

What do you think about novelty eyes?  Do you have one?  Let us know what this experience has been like for you.

More information on Emotional Response To Eye Loss.
More information on Making Artificial Eyes.

7 Responses to “Novelty Eyes”

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  1. Avatar for George Jay Gouker George Jay Gouker says:

    I am 48 years old, and have been wearing an artificial left eye since 1987. The eye NEVER moves, and stands out like a sore thumb. I REALLY want an eye that has a picture of a scorpion on it. I have scorpion tattoos, and would love to get an eye that matches them. I really don’t care if I look kind of freakish. I keep my head shaved, and wear nothing but black. So you see, I really do not care what people think of me. And yes, I am a biker. Please let me know where I can find someone that can make me an eye with a scorpion on it. I live in York, PA. Thank you

    • Avatar for Jenny Jenny says:

      Hi George,
      First I must say that although you may not care what people think of you, the more outrageous you dress up only isolates you more from the community around you. If you look scary then people will be scared of you. When you say you do not care I get the feeling that you have built up a strong defensive system to stop your self from being hurt. Most of your community are probably lovely people and you will miss out on learning from them by making your self scary.

      I am not sure where York PA is as I live in Australia. We do have another web site however which has a find an Ocularist page. Go to: and you will find many Ocularists in the States and abroad. It will then be a question of you contacting a few in your area to find out who would be willing to make one for you. If you would like to come to Perth, Western Australia for a holiday then I would be happy to make it for you – along with a natural prosthesis you will be happy to wear!

      • Avatar for cc cc says:

        wow mind your own business. if the community is too childish to deal with individuality then that’s their own business and he wouldn’t want to hang out with losers like that anyway. let him do what he wants to his own body.

      • Avatar for Jen Jen says:

        Good grief! If I met George wearing a scorpion eye and biker gear, I’d give him a high five!

        Honestly, would you tell someone who lost a leg that they shouldn’t wear an unconventional artistic prosthesis because it might “scare” people? I doubt it!

        I, too have a prosthetic eye, and it has maybe a few millimeters of movement in all directions. Sometimes I wear a faceted craft gem instead. Most people are fascinated and compliment me when I do this, commonly saying that they think it’s awesome that I’m making a statement of personal expression out of what is admittedly a rather negative thing (losing an eye). The only person I know of who has had a problem with it didn’t have the guts to say anything to my face, and instead went whining to one of the directors for the organization I volunteer with. Said director rightly told him that if he was so uncomfortable about someone else’s disability, that was HIS problem, not mine!

        I’m a fairly “Gothic” person, myself, and the people who have a problem with it are not the kind of people I want to be spending time with. Really… Anyone who would avoid someone for wearing black and not hiding their physical differences sounds exactly like the type of narrow minded person that I do NOT want to be friends with. I highly doubt I’m missing out on anything by not catering to their delicate sensibilities. I have an awesome network of friends and family who happily accept me as I am, eccentricities included.

        -24 years old, wearing a prosthetic eye for 23 years.

        • Avatar for Chris Chris says:

          Good on ya Jen!
          I’ve had a prosthetic eye for 48 years and have found a place that will make different eyes for me. My eyes are brown but I’ve ordered a blue one to match my jeans and one with a smiley face on it just for a laugh. You’ve got to be able to laugh at having one of these cause there’s no going back to having two eyes.

  2. Avatar for STLsam STLsam says:

    a few years ago, i almost lost my left eye to a staph infection. i was put on anti-biotics and told i had 72 hours for the infection to improve or they were taking my eye out.

    for 2 days, while my eye was bleeding, my friends and i thought of as many novelty eyes as possible. novelty eyes were really the only thing that got me through the possibility of losing my eye.

    lucky for me, around hour 55, the infection started to clear, and by hour 72 i could see again.

    more people need to make quality novelty eyes. professional or not, scary or humorous, they help.

  3. Avatar for dave dave says:

    Anyone know where to get a prosthetic that light up?

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