A fascinating craft. The story of the last glass eye maker in Britain.
March 27, 2013 9:03 PM   Subscribe

The last of the glass eye makers | Losing an eye through illness or accident can devastate a person's life. A "glass" eye can help some people come to terms with it | Audio: Jost Haas is the last glass eye maker left in Britain, and he is close to retirement. He comes from Germany, where glass eye technology was perfected nearly 200 years ago.

YouTube link for the video.

Director Tomas Leach teamed up with DP Ben Todd to capture the delicate story of Jost Haas, one of the few people left on earth who still makes glass eyes by hand.

History of Artificial Eyes | Artificial Eyes website | Wikipedia link re ocular prosthesis | graphic demonstration (surprisingly humorous but not for watching while eating) How To Insert glass Eye | A somewhat old fashioned video about making glass eyes in Lauscha, Germany | details about the actual making of a glass eye.

The Ocularist
posted by nickyskye (10 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

posted by twoleftfeet at 9:34 PM on March 27, 2013

Related: Paul McClarin, the last glass eye maker in Australia. Here's a fix for the broken ABC link in that old post. I don't know if he's still working.
posted by unliteral at 9:35 PM on March 27, 2013

Has that been replaced by some new technology (i.e acrylic) or is an eyepatch the only answer now?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:41 PM on March 27, 2013

Yes, Chocolate Pickle, the artificial eyes for humans are mostly made in acrylic now.
posted by nickyskye at 9:49 PM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Obligatory. "I just do eyes!"
posted by zoinks at 10:10 PM on March 27, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yes, Chocolate Pickle, the artificial eyes for humans are mostly made in acrylic now.

I wonder if these are quieter when they hit the ground than glass eyes.

My brother was born with numerous mental and physical disabilities, one being not having eyes. My understanding for him wearing prosthetics was maintaining the eye socket shape as he grew and his skull changed shape. The problem was he liked picking them out and poking around inside his sockets. This wasn't a huge issue except at church. The sound of his glass prosthetics hitting the stone floor was very distinct and was typically accompanied by turning to see him with a huge grin on his face and the horrified looks of those in the pew behind us.
posted by edeezy at 10:26 PM on March 27, 2013 [25 favorites]

Fascinating. I'd always just assumed they were round balls, suitable for a game of marbles.
posted by Goofyy at 12:59 AM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

edeezy, What a marvelously, unexpectedly funny story.
posted by nickyskye at 5:45 AM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

That is one of the weirdest TV truths for me Goofyy. IE the idea that a glass eye is a sphere. There was a kid in my kindergarden class with a glass eye so I've always known and the media depiction of glass eyes has always been disturbing.
posted by Mitheral at 7:27 AM on March 28, 2013

I always thought that this was a cute take on what a perfectly spherical prosthetic would fit/look like.
posted by porpoise at 7:50 PM on March 28, 2013

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