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Sculptor puts her skills to use making artificial eyes and facial prostheses

The Art of Creating Artificial Eyes and Facial Prosthetics Sculptor puts her skills to use making artificial eyes and facial prostheses By Corinne Steinbrenner | Photos by Mark Fleming

Kaylee Dougherty presses a sculpting spatula to the clay, smoothing the contours of her morning’s work. She pours a mixture of resin and artificial stone around the clay to form a mold; when it’s set, she’ll fill the mold with pigmented silicone to create an astonishingly lifelike final product.

While most sculptors intend for their work to be seen and admired, Dougherty (’11), an associate at Boston Ocular Prosthetics, Inc. , hopes that this piece will go unnoticed.

Dougherty is training to become a certified ocularist and recently received her certification as a clinical anaplastologist. As an ocularist, she creates artificial eyes for patients born without eyes, or for those who have lost them to accident or disease. As an anaplastologist, she sculpts facial prostheses for an array of patients—a man who lost his nose to skin cancer, a girl born with an underdeveloped ear, a woman whose eye was destroyed in a car accident.