Portland, Oregon-based ocularist Fred Harwin makes beautifully detailed artificial eyes, an occupation that requires both medical and illustrative expertise. In this video from Oregon Public Broadcasting, Harwin shares how he molds, carves, paints, and polishes one of these comprehensive replicas, a mix of art and science that takes around eight hours over four visits with the person he’s making it for. At OPB.org, Harwin notes:

Our culture is visual. We look at somebody and we look in their eyes. If they don’t look at us, we feel rejected. We engage each other by visual means. [An ocular prosthetic] gives a person back a feeling that they have an eye that looks like the other one and they feel more comfortable in our visual society.

Next, spend some time with video close ups of the human eye.

Plus: More videos about prosthetics, including a boy that 3-D prints his prosthetic hand and how Josie the chihuahua got her wheels.

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