Back during simpler times, those wanting to enter a professional trade had their father sign them up for apprenticeship with a local brasiator, bobbin turner, or bower, and about five to ten years later they became acknowledged professionals in the field. Traditional apprenticeship is just about dead, but it turns out that glass eye making, or ocularistry, continues to be a five year apprenticeship commitment.
CNN profiles the work of one of the few ocularists in the nation, a women with the same last name and residing in the same state as an ocularist we featured in the past. Seems like this craft is also an example of a traditional family profession.
Erickson and her son Todd Cranmore are two of the six ocularists in the state of Washington and among the few hundred in the country. Because no school teaches ocularistry, people who want to enter the profession must spend 10,000 hours, or five years, of apprenticeship to become certified.
The career blends the fields of art and science — as only people with a creative side and anatomical knowledge can duplicate the organ that gives the gift of sight.
It’s a common misconception that prosthetic eyes are made of glass, but they’re actually designed using acrylic materials and paint. The only nonacrylic piece is the silk thread placed on the eye’s surface to simulate veins.
More from CNN: The art of eye making
Flashback: MAKE: Artificial Eyes
(hat tip: Zvi Bar)