Woodturning can be used to make tons of useful things but sometimes, you just want to make something that looks extremely cool but serves zero purposes.
Andy Phillip, woodturner and resin aficionado, loves using different combinations of wood and resins to different effects. In one of his recent projects, he mixes a number of resins to create a giant eyeball:
The resin contains a mix of polyurethane and mica powders, which give the resin its unique colors.
Undoubtedly the centerpiece of this project, the eyeball is made out of different layers of colored resin. The largest layer – the sclera of the eye – consists of white resin mixed with a dash of red at the bottom.
Once the resin is cured, Phillip sticks it onto his lathe and drills a hole in the middle for the iris.
No, I’m not talking about the Goo Goo Dolls song – this is a fake iris which represents a real iris of an eye.
Phillip makes this part of the eye by pouring the hole in the center of the sclera with blue resin. When the hole is almost full, he mixes in some yellow resin before slightly overflowing the iris just a tad above the sclera layer with blue resin (this is to elevate the iris above the rest of the eyeball – just like a real eye).
He cures the resin once more before drilling yet another hole in the center of the iris. This time, however, the hole is for the pupil.
This pupil is made from solid black resin and is poured into the dead center of the eyeball. Just like the iris before it, Phillip slightly overflows the resin above the previous layer to elevate it.
It’s Turning Time!
Once all the pieces are in place, Phillip cures the resin one last time and begins chipping the resin into an eyeball shape.
You know how it goes: strings of resin fly everywhere with the help of some woodturning tools. He turns the cylindrical piece of resin into a sphere, making sure to put emphasis on one side of the eyeball so the different layers can be seen properly.
To give the eyeball some more detail, he paints some red blood vessels on the back of the sclera. Just like with a real eye, this gives the wood-turned eyeball some life. Add this to the protruding iris and pupil, and you have yourself an eerie-looking eyeball that looks right back at you.
Don’t Forget the Eye Socket!
To hold the eyeball in place, Phillip makes a wooden stand. The stand, made from spalted beech wood, is turned and cut until it very much resembles an eye socket. He glues the stand onto a flat piece of wood before getting ready to place the main attraction: the eyeball.
The eyeball has undergone some sanding and polishing to make it smooth and shiny like the real thing. It’s nice that Phillip didn’t glue the eyeball to the eye socket, so you can pick up the eye and reposition it to make an illusion that it follows your visitors’ movements.