Painting Eyes

I enjoy the painting time when we can all relax. We have a cup of tea and a chat. It’s a time when we can really get to know people and hear their stories. This is a really pleasant part of the process.

Each eye has different layers of colour. I start with a black base and build over it with lights and darks. As the layers go on the true colour of the eye is revealed. We try to paint the iris on the first visit and people are amazed that we can get the colour right. It helps them feel good about how the finished eye is going to look.

Sometimes there’s a lot of depth in an eye. In these cases I put the cornea over the iris and cut back into it. After that I paint in the fine striations (those are the marks you get through the iris). We use seven base colours and mix off them. The colours in each eye are all separate from each other. There are no short cuts. Every detail has to be painted in if the finished eye is going to look right.

We make all our own paints by hand. The oxides are ground and sifted and mixed with the plastics we make the prostheses from. The iris and the pupil bases are made here and ground on the lathe. Making our own materials gives us confidence in the quality of the eyes we are making.

The buzz for me is when people look in the mirror at the finished prosthesis. People feel normal again and it’s an emotional moment. One client this week exclaimed, “It’s me!” That was great.

Do you remember how you felt when you first saw yourself with your new eye? Can you describe how that felt? I’d be interested to hear about how it was for you.

More information on Artificial Eye Facts.
More information on Making Artificial Eyes.

Leave a Reply

  • Adjusting to Eye Loss Mind Map

  • Stories of Eye Loss - Adults

    Joel Cooke - I Caught A Wave That Changed My Life

    Well I was up at Lancelin, an hour and a half north of Perth, surfing with a couple of mates. Just a normal day really… when I caught a wave that changed my life.
    Read this articleRead more articles ...
  • Stories of Eye Loss - Kids

    Anita Gill - Truly Blessed

    Halfway through the story, Mum covered my left eye with her hand and asked if I could see how many fingers she was holding up. I replied of course I couldn’t, moved her hand and then supplied her with the correct answer. She tried again, just to receive the same answer from me. ... This was the catalyst that made her question the sight in my right eye.

    Read this articleRead more articles ...
  • Pandora Web Archive