An eye for detail

This is the five-minute edit I’ve pulled together from my visit Mr Haas the other day.  I know that probably sounds like a long time, but I hope you’ll give it a chance – it shows a unique and remarkable artist at work.

I mused over the soundtrack for a while, before settling on One Of These Things First, one of my favourite songs by the late Nick Drake.  You can find out more about him at www.brytermusic.com, the official site of his estate, and you can by his music on iTunes here.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Mr Haas and his work I recommend this article on Times Online.  It goes to a far greater degree of detail than I am able to.

If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes... on TwitPicAs to the question of my own eye, and once people find out that I wear a glass eye they often have questions, I’m happy for anyone to post any questions you have as a comment, and I will endeavour to answer.

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  • http://ourmaninside.com Documentally

    Fantastic film. Great use of music. The fact this guy is an artist is proven by the fact this is the first i have known you have a glass eye having met you more than once in person.

    Q. How often do you have to have one made?

    Q. How much are they?

    Q. Why do you not go for the modern polymer types?

    Q. When do you plan to have a camera fitted in your head? ;)

  • http://mim3dot@blogspot.com mim

    very nice! TY!

  • http://www.daniellight.co.uk Dan

    Hey Christian,

    Here you go:

    Q. How often do you have to have one made?
    A. Every few years, unless I break one, which has happened once or twice. It’s not so much that I grow out of them, or that my good eye changes, but that the glass is corroded by the fluid the human eye produces in order to lubricate the movement of the eyeball. (Incredibly I’ve never actually lost an eye, but the other day Ruby hid my current one in the swing bin. It was almost half an hour before I found it in there, gazing condescendingly up at me.)

    Q. How much are they?
    A. I think maybe I get a preferential rate, because I’ve been having them made for the last twenty-eight years, so I wouldn’t want to sell Mr Haas short. But I pay about two hundred quid per eye.

    Q. Why do you not go for the modern polymer types?
    A. I’ve never looked into the alternatives. Mr Haas is the only guy working in glass in the UK, and one of relatively few in the world, so maybe if he ever retires I’ll have to shop around, and look at the alternatives. I like the idea of glass though, and the fact that Mr Haas originates from an area of Germany famous for its glasswork.

    Q. When do you plan to have a camera fitted in your head?
    A. I hadn’t really thought about it much, until I saw this – http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/index.php?cl=11328551 – which is worth watching if only for the story of how the chap in question lost his eye. I figure I’ll give the tech a few more years, and see where it is. Another decade or two and I might even be able to get some sort of wi-fi-based browser built in as well :)

    Look at it from my point of view (so to speak). One working eye is virtually as good as two (arguably better, as you’d know if we’d ever played a few games of pool together). Pretty much the only area it comes up short is watching 3D movies, which isn’t such a big deal now but in my industry, it might make me obsolete in twenty years, less even. So if I’m going to do something about it, rather than waiting until it’s possible to get a full eye transplant, why not try something bionic?

    Apart from anything else, I could make some seriously good undercover documentaries and, given some of the screenings I get to go to, I’d be able to pretty much corner the video piracy market. The eye itself is irreperably damaged, so I’ve got no real reason to hang onto it. Which brings me onto your last question – the one you were too polite to ask :)

    A. In an accident, when I was four years old. My brother and I were mucking around with some copper pipe while some work was being done on our house, and it ended up catching me in the eye. It was very traumatic for everybody concerned, least of all me, and I know I got over it long before my family did, because in recent years it’s become clear that they all made some interpretation of events by which they were responsible. However, as I said to someone recently, if I could cut a deal tomorrow that would see my daughters live to my age, enjoying as much freedom and happiness as I have, with nothing worse happening to them than losing sight in one eye, I think I’d probably take it.

  • Tom

    Nice story and a good film! He is truly an artist.

    As for your family, I can definitely see this being a traumatic event in their lives – glad that losing sight in one eye is not that big of a deal for you. Before reading this, I would have thought otherwise, but your story is reassuring :)

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  • Trevor

    Hi. You’re probably wondering why a year-old post is suddenly generating traffic.

    Well, I ran across this video via engadget, and it interests me a great deal, because I have a prosthetic eye myself. I’m in the US, and have been to a few different ocularists throughout my life, but didn’t realize that anyone was stil doing them in glass.

    I’m curious; how is the eye fitted? My ocularist uses a syringe with a hemispherical fitting to inject a paste that fills the eye socket and sets up quickly to a solid. This is used to make a mold for the back of the eye. I imagine it’s the same or similar stuff used by dentists for making molds.

    Does this gentleman follow a similar procedure? I’m not quite sure how that would work in glass, but it would be fascinating to see. Perhaps you have more footage that didn’t make the cut?

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  • MENGXIAO FAN

    it is an amazing film!i am very intresting about glass handmaking, can you tell me how can contact with MR HAAS? thx !!

  • jan light

    Perhaps I can chip in here, as the mother of the uniocular one. The reason we went for glass some 30 years ago is because, certainly at that time, the quality and appearance of glass eyes, compared to plastic ones, were considered to be very much better. If you want to see plenty of examples of Mr Haas’ work, go to Madame Tussaud’s waxwork museum. I’m not sure if he has a monopoly, but during one of our visits to his consulting rooms, Mr Haas had several versions in waiting for Princess Diana’s wax incarnation.

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  • http://www.evilgenius.net.nz Andrew Hooper

    That was awsome! I could sit and watch his work all day but what is really cool is the fact that his work seems more second nature than actually work as as effotless as breathing!

    Please give him my regards from down the bottom part of the planet next time you are talking to him.

  • SilviaL

    I am moved by your words,”I will go as long as I can . … carry on …”.So please hold on it .(My English is poor,sorry.)

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  • jan light

    Six years later, Dan, I have had the pleasure of showing your film to my friend Celia who finds it fascinating. xx