Originating in our London Ganton Street store in the early 70s, our signature Eye Rings and Eye Pendants are still made from real prosthetic eyes.
The earliest known artificial eye dates back to about 2900 B.C., a gold-adorned half-sphere found in the skull of a priestess whose remains were excavated along the Iranian-Afghan border. Other ancient, false eyes were made of clay or precious metals, fastened over the eye socket with cloth or ribbon. Glass eyes came around in late 16th-century Venice. But the craft as we know it didn’t really begin to take shape until the 1800s, prompted by advancements in both surgical techniques for eye removal and techniques for the manipulation of glass.
As is often the case with prosthetics, war would facilitate the next major advance after glass—resin. World War II caused Allied countries to lose access to German glasswork, just as combat injuries increased the demand for an alternative. Multiple technicians were working on solutions through the early 1940s.
In the 90’s we soon caught up and switched from using the original glass eye in our rings and pendants to the modern alternative – resin.
Painting the artificial eye is a work of art in itself. A base colour is painted using an array of tiny brushes and surgical blades. The completed iris is then covered with a clear cornea, embedded in a mold with white acrylic, and cured with heat. Delicate strands of silk are then inlayed into the sclera surrounding the iris to imitate the veins of the eyeball.
As each eye is carefully hand-painted, each eye is unique. Each eye can take us up to 28 days to make.
Click HERE to view our infamous collection of Eye jewellery.