Strauss eye Eight Button iris Die
Techniques for producing irises vary greatly between ocularists.
Ocularists may paint with acrylic, oil and more recently with a molly-polly blend.
Most ocularists paint onto a black disk and glue or form a cornea over the iris disk. Others start with the clear cornea unit and paint in reverse on the posterior surface. The advantage of this is that you can see the colour as it is when the prosthesis is completed and you do not need to allow for magnification of the cornea.
I was recently introduced to a new technique which has changed the way I make artificial eyes. Jim Strauss developed the Iris die which allows you to make up a set of 8 irises in a batch. You paint a layer of clear molly-polly followed by a couple of coats of black onto a sheet of foil. The iris position is determined by a template. You then paint your iris and paint or position the pupil with the pupil template.
This technique allows you to paint through the limbus which is trimmed back at a later stage.
This technique allows you to paint up two or three irises for a client. The best match is used for the client and the rest go into stock. When you have developed a good range of colours in your stock you will often find an iris which is close to the colour you need and minor adjustments can be made when you do the scleral tint.
Jim’s Iris technique is an ingenious and well designed tool. It is something he could have kept to himself . I am grateful that he has produced the dies and made them available to other ocularists.
To order or get more details on Jim’s iris dyes, please have a look at his web site www.strausseye.com