Author Archives: kaleidojean

Kaleidoscopes in Review

When you hear the word kaleidoscope, a cheap plastic kid’s toy may come to mind. A kaleidoscope is a piece of artwork, something you can enjoy at any age. They are collectible but can also be enjoyed as a unique, one-time gift. Artisans handcraft imaginative masterpieces that often incorporate other talents from metal work to glass blowing.

Color Spirit Kaleidoscopes

What is a color spirit kaleidoscope? It’s a handmade kaleidoscope featuring an oil filled cell with at least one hand lampworked glass piece by the artist, Karl. There are many different themes in this wonderful, magical series.

Starry Night – the Kaleidoscope

Are you or someone in your life a fan of Van Gogh? If art is in your blood, then the Starry Night color spirit kaleidoscope is a masterpiece both inside and out. Adorned with Van Gogh’s starry night, the outside of the tube is only a preview of what’s to come. The white at the base and cap offer a nice contrast to the Starry Night image.

Starry Night Color Spirit Kaleidoscope

Inside you’ll find an array of rich blues, yellows, and reds mixed with a contrasting white. It’s filled with mineral oil, so you’ll see flowing, vibrant images as you slowly twist the turning chamber. The images ooze and dance in fluid motion. The 2 mirrors form crisp 6-point mandalas.

 

Inside the object cell, you’ll find colorful beads and lampworking, many of which have been created by the artist who is also a glassblower. This amazing kaleidoscope can create an infinite number of new images and patterns due to the combination of medical grade mineral oil and vibrant beads. You’ll never be disappointed no matter how many times you pick it up.

 

The Kaleidoscope Details

Composed of durable plastic, the kaleidoscope features a slide closure dust cover to keep your eyepiece safe. The white tube is acrylic adorned with a bold Starry Night image. Inside are 2 mirrors, beads, lampwork, and medical grade mineral oil. It measures 9 inches tall, 2 inches in circumference at the eyepiece, and 2 ¾ inches at the turning cylinder.

 

Interested in seeing more about the Starry Night Color Spirit Kaleidoscope? Check out the video.

Color Spirit Kaleidoscope in Charcoal

Don’t let the outside of the Color Spirit Kaleidoscope in Silver fool you. It’s business on the outside and party on the inside! The simple silver tube houses brilliant colors on the inside. The black and silver provide a nice contrast and give the kaleidoscope an overall clean aesthetic. Charcoal Color Spirit Kaleidoscope

Inside the object cell are a variety of objects including glass beads, Fimo clay, and silver metal beads, which form colorful 6-point mandalas inside. The bright colors form vivid images that slide with a liquid fluidity into view. Whether you’re 9 or 90, you can’t help but admire these fantastic images. In short, you’ll be entertained for hours.

The Kaleidoscope Details

The Color Spirit Kaleidoscope measures 9 inches in length and is 2 inches in circumference around the eyepiece. The turning chamber is 2 ¾ inches in circumference. The outside of the kaleidoscope is made of durable acrylic and has a separate turning chamber. Inside the oil-filled turning chamber, you’ll find silver metal beads, Fimo clay, and handmade glass beads and 2 mirrors. The eyepiece has a dust cover with a switch to open and close it.

Interested in seeing more about the Starry Night Color Spirit Kaleidoscope? Check out the video

The Kaleidoscope Experience

Prior to using these 2 kaleidoscopes, I’d never really handled a “real kaleidoscope.” As a kid, I played with some cheap toys but that was it. For some reason, I was under the impression that this was all there was. I wasn’t aware of handmade, artistic pieces. Looking inside these 2 kaleidoscopes was a bit like going to an art museum without ever leaving my home. I suggest buying one of these. You won’t regret it.

Long time, no post!

Karl and I are finally getting around to fixing a few things and bringing them up to speed!  That means our blog too!

While Facebook and Twitter are fast and furious, it’s nice to come back to this format of the blog where I can write more in depth and offer deeper details.  If you’re just catching us after a long break, we have developed a What’s New section on our website so it makes it easy for collectors and regular customers to come see what is fresh and new from artists as well as New Artists!

 

What’s New in Kaleidoscopes

And if you’re doing a double take because I’m actually getting a blog post written, we have a double view or binocular teleidoscope for you to see and experience now!

Leif Colson is creating these creative binocular style teleidoscopes that you can wear and enjoy!

Wooden Binocular Teleidoscope, in Maple By Lief Colson of Liefer's Look.

 

Highlight and Protect Your Kaleidoscopes

Whether you have a large kaleidoscope collection or are just starting out, proudly display your prized possessions with high-quality kaleidoscope accessories. Kaleidoscope stands safeguard your kaleidoscopes and put them in the spotlight. Kaleidoscope Stand

From 19th-century antique kaleidoscopes to styles from the 1980s, vintage kaleidoscopes capture the imagination with their period-specific differences. Contemporary kaleidoscopes are equally inspiring and are available in designs from a wide range of current artists. Whether you go for the intriguing styles of yesteryear or today’s exciting designs, kaleidoscope stands put the spotlight on your favorite works of art.

Highlight the unique beauty of each kaleidoscope you own with a kaleidoscope stand that’s stylish in its own right. Kaleidoscope stands are available in a wide range of materials and sizes to complement your kaleidoscopes and enhance your decor.

In addition to drawing the eye to your kaleidoscopes, stands are the perfect kaleidoscope accessories to protect your collection from harm. Stands prevent your kaleidoscopes from rolling off of flat surfaces and breaking. Kaleidoscope stands are helpful in any room, but especially in children’s bedrooms, playrooms or other living areas where active kids play. Protect your investment in handmade collectible kaleidoscopes with stands in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your needs.

Goose Eggs and Kaleidoscopes

Every once in a while, I have some unusual items cross my desk.

 

Today, it’s goose eggs.  Not just any goose eggs, but goose eggs that have been meticulously cleaned, preserved, painted, lacquered and built into kaleidoscopes by Frank Casciani.

 

These kaleidoscope eggs are as extravagant as a modern day Faberge egg.  And as intricate inside with the fabulous 3 mirror system that creates a 5 point star within a kaleidoscopic quilt of color.  Frank selects gold along with regal colors of red or green for these marble and goose egg kaleidoscopes.

 

Frank has even created an interchangeable crown to hold an elegant art glass marble that you can exchange for different marbles of the same diameter.  Watch at this link where I demonstrate this elegant marble Kaleidoscope by Frank Casciani.

Gearing up for the Holidays!

Here at Kaleidoscopes To You, we are busy gearing up for the holidays by bringing in lots of kaleidoscopes to ship out to you and yours!

 

Kaleidoscopes make perfect stocking stuffers as you can even get the same size and type but in many different themes.  Take a look at the long list of Jazzy Kaleidoscopes.  This way everyone gets a similar size gift but all get different!

These kaleidoscopes also make wonderful party favors for celebrations of all kinds throughout the holidays.

 

And a lovely gift for your host are wine accessories by Vino Strumenti .  Especially when you do not know there preference for wine, these elegant wine tools always add to the occasion and make basic table red wine look and feel exceptional.  Take a look at the redesigned drip catchers too!

 

 

Sue Rioux Kaleidoscopes

Sue Rioux has been creating kaleidoscopes for over 20 years and keeps getting better and better.  Her scopes incorporate dichroic and fused dichroic glass and are built with traditional copper foil stained glass techniques.

Each of her pieces is signed and dated – even her small marble kaleidoscopes.  She etches directly into the glass with a grinding tool.  Her background is in sculpture as well so she builds parlor kaleidoscopes with brass rods.  Her fusing of glass is always unique as the dichroic glass layers in so many colors to play with the light.  And her newest designs are playing with the shape of the barrel as well.  Take a look at Black Orbit.

 

One of my favorite designs by Sue is the Serendipity.  This kaleidoscope showcases dichroic glass and patterned dichroic glass beautifully and the barrel features many pieces fused by Sue in her kiln as well.

July Kaleidoscope Updates

July has brought heat and humidity to North Iowa.  Everything is very lush and green and as we approach late summer, the corn is tasseling and the grasses are going to seed.

The green growth is starting to put its energies into fruits and seeds.

 

And at Kaleidoscopes To You , we are putting our energies into updating our inventories and website.  When we have new pieces, we upload a link to the What’s New Section.  Here you can find our most recent uploads such as new designs by artists like these beautiful Egg Kaleidoscopes by Frank Casciani or vintage pieces that are new to us.

 

We are also catching up on some videos for demonstrating our kaleidoscopes as well.  Catch our most recent videos on our YouTube Channel.  Some fabulous pieces by Fumie Ino have recently arrived including some of her beautiful Japanese lacquerware.

 

Please enjoy browsing and seeing what is new this July at Kaleidoscopes To You.  We know that we enjoy browsing while relaxing within the comfort of air conditioning when the humidity is 90% and higher.

Spring Break Art and Kaleidoscope Travels

Spring Break for the Schilling Family was defined by One Place.  We were determined to get to Davenport before Tom Chouteau’s exhibit closed at the German American Heritage Museum closed.  Tom has been building large kaleidoscope installations for many years and the GAHC.org was able to incorporate some of his installations along with the history of German immigrant Charles Busch who produced Bush kaleidoscopes in the 1800’s in New England.

 

Here is a TripAdvisor  Review of Tom Chouteau’s Kaleidoscope Exhibit.

 

And here is a link to the antique Bush kaleidoscope we lent to the exhibit.

Vintage Bush Kaleidoscope

We were honored that we could lend such an important piece of history to this exhibit.

Another stop in the Quad Cities for us was the John Deere International Headquarters.

John Deere International Headquarters

Being architecture fans, we needed to experience the Eero Saarinen designed building and landscape.  Our kids had a great time climbing into the new tractors on the showroom and we really enjoyed the historical displays of letters and documents from the early years of the company.  The front building is designed as an elegant showroom and museum open to the public with a skyway over to the executive building.  The highlight was when the Docent realized we were there for the art and the architecture.  He took is into the lobby of the executive building where 4 stained glass panels were installed that illustrate the 4 seasons of agriculture.  These panels were from the original offices down at the Rock Island Arsenal.

Then.  He simply said “Follow me.”  And we followed back to the public space of the showroom.  And up the stairs at the north end.  Then he asked us to wait while he found the light switches.

Then we experienced the Auditorium designed by Eero Saarinen with original artwork by Grant Wood.  The auditorium feels like an elegant harpsichord with the white upholstery, wooden armrests and angular turns.

A large tryptich of fields by Grant Wood is the focus of the landing as you climb the steps to the auditorium.  Great and deep texturing in the plaster base creates the feeling of prairie grasses.

The lobby features 6 drawings by Grant Wood from 1936, the depths of the depression and Dust Bowl.  Drawn in pencil on Butcher Paper, these simple portraits still celebrate the promise of the bounty of the land.

It was a quick 2 day trip, but we hope that we continued to instill in our daughters the love of art in travel.  So even when we’re travelling, you can always find us here.

Easter Baskets! Kaleidoscopes Fit right IN!

Easter Egg Hunts and Easter Baskets.  The best part of being a kid at Easter.  Eggs and Candy everywhere and an early chance to get outside.  As you get older, like those middle school and teenage years, the thought of getting up for sunrise service doesn’t sound as fun.  But the joy for hunting for plastic eggs filled with chocolate eggs inside only lasts a few years.  Of course, I cannot resist a peanut butter filled chocolate egg. By the dozen. But if you are looking for an Easter idea without the risk of cavities or a sugar crash, think about a colorful kaleidoscope.

At Kaleidoscopes To You, we have many styles that are inspired by the oval shape of the egg perfect for an Easter Basket.  For the ultimate Easter surprise, look at the Faberge inspired kaleidoscope eggs by Frank Casciani.

http://www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com/eastergifts.html

Kaleidoscope Easter GiftsFor a moderate price but still an elegant look for an Easter Egg, look at the Rosewood egg kaleidoscope N & J Enterprises.

 

For the best interpretation of Easter within a kaleidoscope, enjoy sharing a Cross Embellished kaleidoscope necklace. An elegant statement of jewelry with a metal cross with beautiful colors within the kaleidoscope.  The joy of the risen Christ is all around us but a tiny bit is also contained within a kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscopes: Objects that Inspire

kaleidoscopes for sale

Since Victorian times, the kaleidoscope has been the object of fascination for children and adults. A multitude of shapes and colors in ever-changing combinations provide endless entertainment through the lens. Custom exterior designs enhance the decor of any room. Fans seek out kaleidoscopes for sale as gifts or to enjoy any time.

Artists have always relished the challenge of crafting handmade kaleidoscopes. They provide amazing opportunities for creativity, from the choice of interior colors and materials to conceptualizing and executing the stunning tubes that house their colored mirrors. Contemporary designs cover a wide range of styles reflecting the visions of each artist.

Vintage kaleidoscopes span the decades, representing everything from Edwardian styles to the recognizable modernity of 1980s design. Whether they inspire a sense of personal nostalgia or romanticism about bygone eras, these kaleidoscopes offer glimpses into fascinating times and take us out of our daily routines.

Those looking for unique gift ideas will want to browse our kaleidoscopes for sale. Kaleidoscopes offer the perfect gift ideas for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, Christmas and other holidays. From the dreamer on your list for whom an ordinary gift just won’t do to a child with a budding imagination, kaleidoscopes and kaleidoscope accessories are sure to please and inspire.