Saturday, December 26, 2009

Optic Wow

The time has come for me to have my new glass eye made!  My current eye will be 10 years old this January, and the materials have begun to physically breakdown.  When that starts to happen, my real, little eye beneath my shell becomes irritated.  Not fun. 

SO, my brand new eye began production on Wednesday, December 23, 2009.  This is a BIG deal for me - we're talking about a major part of my face!  It's exciting and emotional all at the same time.  This is the first time I've had a glass eye made by someone other than Sue Alexander Binder, my ocularist over in Wisconsin.  Sue made my first three eyes (all of which I still keep under lock and key in my home).  

This eye will be made by Walter Johnson over at Denver Optic - check out their website for some pretty great info about eyes.  (I had to chuckle at the YouTube video they have posted on the main page - I'm pretty sure I asked all the same questions the 12 year old in the video asked - and probably more!)

The tools of the trade:  scalpels, lighter, 
scissors, paraffin/wax, Sharpies, TORCH!  Yikes!  

The paraffin wax used to mold the initial shape of what will eventually become my shell.  Seriously...did it have to be PINK!?  

I was completely entranced by this point - Walter was really able to shape this little guy to fill my eye socket by adding and subtracting the wax using the blowtorch/mini-flame thrower.  If you look closely between his fingers, you can see the protruding metal rod/button that makes me look like a cyborg when we're trying to get the precise pupil placement.  Say that three times!

More shaping.  He worked really hard to find 
the correct positioning for my pupil and iris.  

Here is the final, shaped product sitting next to my current eye.  It's not the actual shell, but rather the mold that fits directly over my little eye.   The blue Sharpie lines were again for alignment and placement.  Unreal!

I can't believe we got this far in one day!  Everything will be completed on January 27th, 2010, which by my calculations, is over a month away.  Good thing I'm known for my patience...

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