San Jose ocularist uses technology, artistry to create ultra-realistic eye prostheses
SAN JOSE — Georgia Sutherland has something to say about her looks that you’d never know if you met her face to face. And it has to do with her bright blue eyes. One of them is not real. “People are shocked when they find out I’m missing an eye. No one can imagine that […]
SAN JOSE — Georgia Sutherland has something to say about her looks that you’d never know if you met her face to face.
And it has to do with her bright blue eyes. One of them is not real.
“People are shocked when they find out I’m missing an eye. No one can imagine that a prosthetic eye could look so normal,” Sutherland said.
You won’t know for sure until ocularist Raymond Rendon removes her right eye.
“There’s no pain. I’m fine without it. I usually wear it in front of other people staring at me,” she said.
Rendon is one of only about a dozen ocularists in California. His practice in San Jose creates prosthetic eyes for accident victims or people who have lost an eye due to illness.
“I got an infection in the eye and it came in quickly and went unnoticed. By the time they found it, my vision was gone and the retina was destroyed,” Sutherland said.
Rendon created Georgia’s eye about a year ago in his workshop and studio where he combines art and science.
“You have to be a perfectionist in everything,” Rendon said.
The prosthesis itself is a curved acrylic shell that fits over an ocular implant like a large contact lens.
The implant is permanently embedded in the eye socket and connected to muscle tissue to maintain natural movement.
The eyes wouldn’t look real without veins, which Rendon creates using tiny red fibers.
“I just put it where it needs to be put,” Rendon said.
Rendon’s interest in the field began when he discovered he could use his art skills to help people.
“What a blessing to be able to do something that’s fun and artistic and helps people feel better about themselves,” Rendon said.
“That’s all I could ever want in a job.”
Georgia’s eye just needed a little fine-tuning to fit better.
And while only one of them can see, she says both her eyes feel and look good.