An Artist’s Eye: Ocularist Bud Turntine

This is the tale of two eyes and the man who made them. Bud Turntine is a board-certified ocularist who creates prosthetic eyes for patients out of his nondescript office in Shawnee, Kan. When you think of prosthetic eyes, images of round, glass eyeballs may come to mind. Indeed, fake eyes used to be made of glass – over 60 years ago. Now, they are made from acrylic. Quite a bit of work, and artistry, goes into creating an ocular prosthesis and one area man, Bud Turntine, an aspiring artist in his youth, turned his talents into a 30-year career of creating what he calls ‘wearable art’. Multimedia reporter Todd Feeback takes us into his world as he creates eyes for two very different patients.

NOTE: This remains one of my favorite videos, and it was nominated for a 2014 Mid America Emmy. I didn’t win, but this blog post, by the mother of the then 2-year-old Betsy in the piece, beats a golden statue any day. Read it here:



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