are intended for people who already know how to do hot glass work with
a torch. Also, I am ambidexerous with left-handed inclinations,
the illustrations may show left-handed views--I can't tell one way from
other half the time.
Mixing the colors until they are evenly distributed but still streaky
will result in realistic variations in the iris.
1. Light shade: Sky Blue, Light Grey. Pull
2. Medium shade: Sky Blue, Med. Grey, Lapis Cobalt.
Pull 3-3.5mm stringer.
3. Dark shade: Med Grey, Lapis Cobalt. Pull
These combinations can be used to make many shades and hues of blue and
grey by varying the proportions of each color.
1. Light shade: Yellow, Light Brown, Nile
green. Pull 1.5-2mm stringer.
2. Medium shade Yellow, Lapis Cobalt, Light Brown, Nile
Green. Pull 3-3.5mm stringer.
3. Dark shade: Lapis Cobalt, Light Brown, Yellow, Nile
Green. Pull 1.5-2mm stringer.
Green is difficult to get right if you don't know the chemical
reactions that will occur when the glass colors are combined.
Green made with blue and yellow tends to "bleed" into the white when
the eyes are shaped; yellow and green make a dark brown--so must be
used sparingly together--but green and brown are needed to "fix" the
color and prevent "bleeding".
1. Light shade: Light Brown, Med. Grey, Yellow.
Pull 1.5-2mm stringer.
2. Medium shade: Light Brown, Lapis Cobalt, Yellow.
Pull 3-3.5mm stringer.
3. Dark shade: Light Brown, Lapis Cobalt. Pull
These combinations can be used to make many shades and hues of brown by
varying the proportions of each color.
Prepare stringers of iris shades for chosen eyes color (guidelines
Thicken end of 8-9mm rod and flatten as shown in Illus. #1.
Use transparent black for pupil--shape 6mm diameter, 12mm long cylinder
in center of flattened punty end as shown in Illus. #2.
Wrap with light iris color, melt iris shade until smooth, repeat with
medium iris shade and then dark iris shade as shown in Illus. #3.
Use pick to very
carefully feather each layer if needed to create smooth, even
layers if needed as shown in Illus. #4. Carefully reshape into
cylinder if needed only after all iris layers have been applied and
#3 and #4
Wrap with enough white to double the thickness of the
cylinder as shown in Illus. #5. Feather as needed to create
smooth and even
layers, being careful not to drag the white into the iris. The
number of layers will depend on your technique for applying glass--I
used about 4 layers of 3mm rod.
is needed for canes that will be pulled smaller--It is best
to pull to about 4mm in diameter and then cut a sample. If the
iris is too big, you can reheat and pull down to a smaller size.
Heat the resulting mass evenly and pull into cane about the same mm as
the eyes will be as shown in Illus. #6. Uneven heating will
distort the iris.
Cut short sections from eye cane starting at one end till you come to a
complete and well-shaped iris as shown in Illus. #7.
Take 1/2" craft pin and hold it by the point in a pin vise or
Slightly heat cut end of eye cane, heat head of pin till red hot and
push it into the center of end of eye cane till head is buried as shown
in Illus. #7.
Remove from flame.
Allow cane to harden, then cut a section from the end that is about
equal to its diameter as shown in Illus. #7.
Iris size is
affected by the length of the cut section--it will tend to
be smaller if the section is shorter than its diameter and lager if the
section is longer than it's diameter.
Return cut section to heat and melt into a ball.
Iris size can also be manipulated by how the section of cane is
heated: Applying the flame to the iris hemisphere of the section
when rounding will result in a smaller iris, and applying it to the pin
hemisphere will create a larger iris as shown in Illus. #8.
Put eye into annealing kiln. When you have used all of the cane
you made, anneal the eyes.
"batch" separately because the next cane is unlikely to be a
very close match to this one, and you will just waste time on the
pairing step (below) if you combine batches and then compare eyes that
Sort the eyes by size. Styrofoam boards (such as used for
insulation) work well for sticking the eyes onto. Cut several
pieces about 8" x 10" and label each with an eye size. Use
calipers to measure eyeball diameters--electronic calipers are best and
most accurate. Stick eyes in even rows on boards as you measure
them as shown in Illus. #9.
Direct sunlight is the best lighting for this step. Start at the
beginning of a row and pick up one or two eyes (do one at a time until
you become proficient), hold the eye between the thumb and forefinger
of one hand. Pick up the next eye in the row and
compare it to the eye you are holding, If it looks like a close
match, stick it on the board in an empty area along one edge away from
the other eyes as shown in Illus. #10, or on an empty board. If
it is not a close match,
stick it at the beginning of the row where you removed the eye you are
holding as shown in Illus. #10. Pick up the next eye in the row
Compare the eye in your hand with the eyes you set aside as close
matches, if it matches one, you have a pair! Stick the pair
together on a separate labeled board as shown in Illus. #11. If
it does not match any
put it in a container labeled Unmatched Eyes (these can also be sold).
Compare the rest of the close matches to EACH OTHER using the same
method as above. Chances are, some will match each other.
Any that do not match PLACE BACK on the board at the end of the rows of
eyes for comparison with the rest of the eyes as shown in Illus. #10.
for examples of eyes in dolls
The pins I used came from here:
Pricing: check online to see what comparable eyes are being sold
for. The last time I looked it was about $9.00 per pair.
Packaging: I pinned the paired eyes to pieces of thin foam
sheets, folded the sheet around them, put them in small zip-top bags,
and shipped in padded envelopes.
This is a wholesaler, but you can use it as a reference:
I scavanged all my foam sheeting. Freecycle is a possible source.
I bought bags here:
You may have to use the search tool on the site to
find them easily.
This information is provided free of charge with the following
restrictions: These instructions and these illustrations may be
copied free of charge for usage that does not include the sale of this
information. These instructions and these illustrations may NOT
be copied in part or whole for sale or profit in any format or for any
purpose including educational purposes (ie: you cannot use them to
class that you receive money or compensation for teaching). Items
made using this information may be sold providing this information is
not included as part of the price.