I get many questions about production, production times and materials involved, so I thought I’d put them all under this FAQ so it would be easier to find them.
How long will it take to get my eyes?
That’s a difficult question! Production times vary, but usually your item will ship within 30 days of your purchase date. If there’s a delay, I will send you a message to let you know. After the production period, shipping varies based on the profile you selected through Etsy.
Why does it take so long to make a pair of eyes?
The resin and plastics that I use in the production process take a long time to cure, and there’s not much I can do to speed up the process. I always want to make sure that the eyes are perfect before I send them out, so if there is a mistake like a bubble or dust, I will have to start over from the beginning.
The Production Process
Make the base original. I use a lathe to create the original base for each size of eye I offer. This can take up to an hour for each size, due to sanding and polishing. Any mistakes will make me redo the entire thing, so it’s very tedious!
Make the first mold. I take the base originals for each size and make the first mold out of them with silicone rubber. Generally takes a day to produce a good mold and to let it cure.
Make the base seconds. Another tedious process. I make 10+ castings from the first mold, making sure each eye cast from it is perfect and flawless. These are used in the next step. It takes about a day to create the castings, due to the cure time.
Make the final mold. This mold will feature many pairs of the same size eyes. I use the base seconds to create this mold. It generally takes a day to get a perfect mold and to cure it.
Make the bases. It doesn’t take so long to make the bases! Now I have 5 pairs of each size in a mold, so I can pour and cure 5 pairs of bases at once. It takes 30 minutes for the resin to cure. I have to make sure there are no bubbles, or imperfections in the bases and that they have pretty smooth bottoms.
First quality control. Removing any bases with bubbles, dust or any imperfections. About ¼th of the bases get thrown out because of imperfections.
Irises. Each one is special! I have to find the right material, right color, right pupil. It takes about 10 minutes for each pair of eyes to design the iris. Curing time is usually about a day.
Doming. Creating each dome is a difficult process! It’s hard to get them perfect without causing issues with the pupil, or the colors of the eye. Sometimes I have to sand them off and start over. Curing time is about a day.
Coating. Coating each eye up to five times with urethane resin keeps them from getting scratched or damaged. Each layer takes around 3 hours to cure, with up to 5 layers. Any imperfections or dust means that I have to remove the coating and start over.
Sanding. The bottoms of each eye needs to be sanded flat. I do this by hand with medium grit sandpaper. The medium grit makes it easier for eye putty to stick to the eye and keep it in place.
Second quality control. I make sure everything is perfect. Some eyes get scrapped due to resin not curing properly, or sneaky dust and bubbles. About ¼th of eyes have to be done again from the beginning.
Packaging. This is the final step. Eyes are ready to go and will be shipped the same day, or next day.