State of the Art (Blog)
Anaplastologists Descend on Nashville – Part 1
The 27th annual educational conference of the Inernational Anaplastology Association took place at the beginning of May in Nashville, Tennessee. Over one hundred anaplastologists and other related health professionals such as dentists, ENT surgeons, dental technicians, and ocularists traveled from around the world to attend the meeting in the music city. The conference theme this year was “The Art of Anaplastology” with a focus on the artistry and creativity involved in the creation and attachment of prosthetics.
Keynote speakers included two fine art sculptors who have mastered the human form. Andrew Cawrse began his career as a visual effects artist in the film industry, developing three-dimensional character models for well-known movies such as Avatar, Star Wars: Episode II, and Galaxy Quest. Mr. Cawrse’s imaginative character sculpting eventually evolved into the creation of beautiful, highly-detailed anatomy sculptures, produced both digitally and traditionally.
The second keynote speaker, Evan Penny, fabricates hyper-realistic, larger-than-life three-dimensional human portraits using materials such as silicone, pigment, and human hair (just like an anaplastologist!). Although Penny creates mostly three-dimensional pieces, his work explores the relationship between photographic and sculptural portraits and encourages us to think critically about how “reality” is represented in art. It was inspiring and fascinating to learn about his artistic process.
In addition to the fantastic keynote speakers, many colleagues presented new techniques for fabrication of facial, hand, and feet prostheses and shared patient cases that benefited from the incorporation of technology such as digital surgical planning or 3D printing. Julie and I left the conference feeling very excited about applying what we’d learned about new materials and techniques to the work we do with our patients.
Thanks for reading!