IAA Meeting 2016--Dallas/Fort Worth, Day 2


Day two of the lecture sessions began with a history lesson of modern facial prosthetics with a focus on the post WWI era. There was a sense of fluidity in Dr. David Lubin's lecture such that I became completely immersed in his words. Yet, one of the most memorable moments was the silent video excerpt from Anna Coleman Ladd's "Studio for Portrait Masks" in which she creates masks for disfigured soldiers from WWI:

It's important to note that ocularistry and anaplstology have different roots. Today, many ocularists in America are descendants of German glass eye makers and ocularistry is still very much a family business. Modern anaplastologists, on the other hand, are primarily trained through one of several institutions that exist today. There is some minor crossover between the fields but typically an anaplastologist will work together with an ocularist on an orbital prosthesis where both the eye and the surrounding areas of skin are involved.

An interesting difference between a prosthetic eye and a silicone prosthesis is the maintenance process. An acrylic prosthetic eye can be heated to a high temperature or immersed in some disinfecting solutions without damage (please leave this to the professionals only). A silicone prosthesis, especially one that is exposed to a warm, moist environment such as the sinus cavity, is more difficult to keep clean. Even during fabrication, the prosthesis can be contaminated with mold and cause problems later. Anaplastologist Paul Tanner conducted a series of experiments to test for mold growth throughout different stages of the fabrication process and presented his findings during the morning session. I was surprised that the heat curing process between color applications, done at a relatively low temperature for a short time, had a visible decrease in mold growth in his petri dish cultures.

The afternoon session featured the anaplastologist-ocularist team approach as well as working with digital tools. As the meeting concludes, the attendees gathered for an evening banquet at the Stockyards Hotel. Many people will return home the next day, while others stay for one more day of workshop. I'm heading to my hometown Chicago for a week.