Eye Techniques

The Members were asked for their ideas on eye cutting and here is what they had to say.

I've tried it several different ways with no success.
So I've developed my own way which has not failed me yet. After pouring
I let the head completely dry out usually 2 or 3 days. Then I sit
outside on my picnic table and using a small brush and a Fine detail
stylus I outline the entire eye going around and around, brushing away
the debris. I do this until the entire eye is cut out. After that I
take the brush and smooth out any roughness and soft fire. I know this
is a weird way of doing it, but it works great for me.

I cut eyes in sfgw stage. First I scribe a line about 1/8th of an inch inside the eye using a dcl tool. I scrape a tiny hole with my dcl tool in the middle of the eye. Then I take my exacto knife, with a fresh blade and carefully clean the excess away until I get the eye the size and shape that I want. I rinse frequently and check with a little halogen desk lamp to make sure it is not chipping or flaking. I do the final check on size and symmetry by holding the head upside down and/or holding it up to a mirror. After beveling, I use a really soft paint brush to smooth the inside of the eye rims.
My biggest problem lately has been learning how to size for the oval glass realistic paperweight eyes that I got. The dome isn't quite as high as the other paperweights I've used. I managed to have to put glastics in one head and had an extra pair of antique type paperweights to use in another head. I guess that is just experience there...
joy and sunshine

When you are pouring dolls that are going to have cut out eyes, use a soda straw to cut the hole in the leather hard stage. (I have 2 or 3 different sized straws for this purpose.) It really helps you get started.

After soft firing and soaking, use a lady finger tool to cut a line from the hole to the corner (just about to the corner but not quite). Then use a scalpel to cut away the excess porcelain.

If you are beveling eyes in soft-fired greenware and finding that eyes aren't fitting properly, are you using wooden eyes sizers? They swell up in water and because they are wood, don't necessarily swell in a perfect round.

When you are fitting paper weight eyes or ovals, you can size with a size bigger than the eye size, to make up for shrinkage and also with one the next size bigger, to make room for the white part.
Hope this helps someone.


I cut eyes different ways. When I first started I used a xtao knife, making
a small hole in the middle and working my way out. Another way using a
tool that has a curved and sharp point (can't remember the name) going
around the outer line until it cuts through, then using knife to smooth.
Now I TRY to remember shortly after taking the head out of the mold I cut
the eye out, then when dry finish with xacto knife and a qtip, this one is
really easy! Hope this helps!

One thing I was taught to do was outline the eye with a # 2 red pencil = that really helps me = & the pencil marks fire out. I do this & cut them out in the greenware stage.
Marty h.


I cut my eyes out when I take heads out of the mold. I cut just inside line
leaving a small amount to be cleaned with brush when dry. Takes a little
practice, but once you get the hang of it goes real well. Try pouring a
small mold to practice on.

  I have a tool by bevelers. Cant think of the name but it is metal and is gold in color. The tip of it is a diamond tip and I use it for everything. I just take the tip of it and carefully trace around the rim of eye, remember to do this carefully and don't be in a hurry, and I just lightly go round and around, back and forth (you want to keep it going all the way around so it doesn't get stuck ) until the piece falls out ( also keep it very wet while working )
God Bless Rita