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.
It takes special artistry to design a kaleidoscope. The word itself is a combination of the Greek words kalos, eidos and scopos, literally translated to mean beautiful form watcher.
The Science behind the Kaleidoscope
A basic kaleidoscope is made of two or three mirrors or reflective surfaces, forming a V. The assembly is encased in a tube, and various small objects are positioned at one end while a peek hole is centered at the opposite end. Precisely positioned mirrors will create more precise symmetrical reflections with the images changing each time one looks through the eye-hole.
The Artistry Behind Kaleidoscopes
The images created in a kaleidoscope are only one part of the artistry. The cases can be carved from special wood and customized with embellishments.
Kaleidoscope artists Mark and Carol Reynolds have kept the tradition alive by creating the finest quality kaleidoscopes that are true collector’s items if not works of art.
For instance, the Wooden Kaleidoscope, Handheld in Walnut Wood #1 is carved from maple burl with a colorful inlaid design. The interior chamber is black to create a brilliant kaleidoscope.
The Zebra Wood Handheld #1 is 12 inches long. Using carefully chosen bobbles and glass pieces contained in an oil-filled cell, the resulting imagery is brilliant, and it changes with every movement of the kaleidoscope.
Artists Mark and Carol Reynolds have taken kaleidoscope design to a new level with premium quality cases housing some of the most dazzling images.
Kaleidoscope artist Marc Tickle takes an innovative approach to his work. He creates some of the most sought after collectibles. All of his pieces are handcrafted with a unique technique that involves reverse painting, so rich colors can be viewed inside. His mirror systems are extremely creative and are welcomed by any collector.
Peek-A-Boo Box Blue 2
Providing magic for the eyes, the Peek-A-Boo kaleidoscope includes a 5-Point star mandala. The square design is a welcome departure of the traditional round style. Inside, a glass dragonfly sculpture adds beauty and interest. For maximum viewing pleasure, the eyepiece is slightly larger than a normal kaleidoscope.
This extraordinary work of art contains a glass barrel with a full pane of surface mirror. Half of a glass dragonfly is mounted on the front of the mirror, which creates an illusion that it is flying. The pedestal is created with reverse painted glass in a beautiful emerald green color. Each piece contains Marc’s etched signature. Since only a limited number of the Conservatory kaleidoscopes are produced, they’re sure to turn into items of great value.
Blue Glass Teleidoscope
A teleidoscope is a different twist on a classic kaleidoscope. Instead of viewing patterns of objects inside the instrument, a person views patterns from items outside the instrument. This blue glass teleidoscope is extremely elegant. The blue shiny body is accented by the silver eyepiece, and a small walnut base is included for display.
You can see all of the stunning kaleidoscopes by Marc Tickle we have to offer at KaleidoscopesToYou.com.
Artist Sue Ross was a child when she crafted her first kaleidoscope, fashioned from a cardboard tube and a few random items. Later, the California-based artist used her knowledge of fine glass etching and stained glass window design to turn her hobby and fascination with kaleidoscopes into a career.
Her adult creations are inspired, detailed and unique, and they are coveted by collectors across the globe. Her keen eye for detail and whimsical designs inspired by childhood and fairy tales, Sue Ross kaleidoscopes are imaginative conversation pieces that may become treasured heirlooms.
Kaleidoscopes themselves have a rich history that goes back almost 200 years. They have come a long way from their early, simple designs that were originally intended to be a tool for scientists studying the polarization of light. They gained popularity instead as children’s toys, and many kaleidoscopes today mingle form and function, becoming works of art.
Many of Ross’ creations are discontinued and have become collector’s items, like the Frog Prince and the Petite Jewel Mini Parlor. Her delicate designs don’t overlook the kaleidoscope case, which may be made of ceramic, rosewood or glass and then embellished with ribbons, reverse painted glass, beads, and metal accents. Collectible Sue Ross kaleidoscopes are signed by the artist.
When Scottish lens maker and light experimenter David Brewster invented the first kaleidoscope in 1816, he could not have imagined that the fanciful toy would still be popular some 200 years later. While Brewster did indeed patent his invention the following year, there were problems with the paperwork and before long many other toy makers and craftsmen were making kaleidoscopes, too.
Kaleidoscopes were quite the craze back in the days of Queen Victoria. All the best parlors had at least one. Optical toys were popular with children and adults alike. The popularity of kaleidoscopes comes and goes. Today there is a happy resurgence of interest in colorful kaleidoscopes. Popular once again as toys for children, upscale kaleidoscopes are now in vogue as executive amusements, as well.
Over the years, many kaleidoscopes have been produced but none are more beautiful than those handcrafted by Japanese artisan Tomoo Hosono. Kaleidoscopes to You is pleased to present a remarkable range of Japanese kaleidoscopes that are unlike any you’ll find anywhere else.
Each Tomoo Hosono steel-encased kaleidoscope is a work of art in its own right. If your only experience with kaleidoscopes has been flimsy devices made with cheap cardboard and inferior mirrors, you’re sure to be quite taken with the elegant, artistic Japanese kaleidoscopes that are listed for sale in the Kaleidoscopes to You online catalog.
Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive gift or something for your own collection, take a look at the Joanne Jacobs kaleidoscopes available in our collection at KaleidoscopesToYou.com. These colorful works of art come in a variety of sizes and prices, so you’ll be sure to find one that perfectly fits your needs and tastes. Jacobs gets inspiration for her kaleidoscopes from many different sources, including music, painting and even baking. Because each kaleidoscope is made by hand, you will have a truly unique creation that differs slightly from other models in the same line.
One of the most striking things that you’ll notice when browsing through our line of Joanne Jacobs kaleidoscopes is how colorful they are. The popular Klezmer oil-filled kaleidoscope has a piano theme on the elegant exterior that translates to the interior image. Secretariat, in purple hues, features an image of a horse on the exterior, ideal as a gift for a racing fan. The Blue Iridescent Trufflet Necklace Kaleidoscope is a real conversation piece, coming with a silver-plated chain that allows you to wear and take this unique kaleidoscope with you wherever you go. You will even find kaleidoscopes in a variety of iridescent colors that you can wear as a brooch, ideal not only as a conversation piece, but also as a unique piece of jewelry.
Fumie Ino is a Japanese artist who brings the beauty of the Orient to her handcrafted kaleidoscopes. She captures the simplicity and solace of cherry blossoms, lilies, and other delicate flowers with hand-painted kaleidoscopes made of ceramic or black lacquer. Delicate pieces of stained glass tumble inside a dry cell, providing intricate patterns and images in a wide array of bright colors.
Japan kaleidoscopes have a unique history, first appearing in the country in 1819. The Japanese people were not accustomed to foreign things brought by outsiders due to their isolation. It is thought that merchants from west India first introduced kaleidoscopes, along with glassware, telescopes, scissors and prisms. They were known as “Hyaku-iro Megane” which means “mirror tube with hundred colors.”
Over time in Japan, kaleidoscopes were used both as toys and as educational tools. The first kaleidoscope museum in the world was opened in Japan, and there are many renowned artists like Fumie Ino making beautiful pieces that are enjoyed around the world.
Fumie Ino’s Japan kaleidoscopes are unique in that they don’t have a separate turning chamber and she uses a 2-mirror system to create spectacular patterns and designs. Her attention to detail makes her kaleidoscopes pieces of art in themselves; a must-have in any kaleidoscope collection. We are proud to offer a limited supply of her breathtaking work.
The term kaleidoscope originated from a Greek phrase loosely translated as “to look at beautiful forms”. You may remember your days as a child playing with kaleidoscopes and spending countless hours staring into the plastic tube, watching colors and shapes take form before your eyes, wondering how in the world it happened.
Today, there are a few stand-out kaleidoscope makers who have turned a child’s toy into magnificent works of art, and can custom make beautiful themed pieces for kids and adults alike, from a variety of materials like wood or marble. Among the more prominent examples, you will find Ron Lee kaleidoscopes.
One of Ron Lee’s particular themes stands out among his collection, as he has recreated well-known lighthouses and replicated them as kaleidoscopes. With lighthouses from Nubble, Maine to St. Augustine, Florida, Ron Lee kaleidoscopes are especially appealing to those intrigued by the nautical lifestyle.
These pieces look strikingly similar to the full-size lighthouses they were inspired by, and even have the town and state in which they are located hand-written on the bottom. Filled with beautiful and bright acrylic beads, these kaleidoscopes are great for gazing into, or simply used as an accent piece in a nautical-themed room.
Kaleidoscopes have come a long way from what we remember as children, and are a wonderfully nostalgic gift for yourself or a loved one.
Jan and Michael Collier are a second generation husband and wife team of kaleidoscope artists. They are a part of the family business Collier Studios which began in 1985. They use their artistic talents to create amazing kaleidoscopes that are featured in a variety of series.
Spirit Series Kaleidoscopes
The kaleidoscopes within the spirit series are made of a durable acrylic. It uses a two-mirror system that displays a breathtaking image inside. The kaleidoscopes are designed to allow light to come in through the sides which adds to the beauty of the image inside. The eyepiece includes a dust cover that slides on to keep it clean. This series is both durable and affordable.
Seashell Sprit Series Kaleidoscopes
This series is made using a durable acrylic and is designed with seashell and starfish artwork on the exterior. It has a two-mirror system that allows you to see the tiny seashells and colorful pieces inside. The eyepiece includes a dust cover to keep it clean.
Chrome Series Kaleidoscopes
This series uses three different mirror systems within it. A Vortex Tunnel mirror System, two-mirror system, and three-mirror system are all used. It is made with acrylic and chrome with bright colorful clay pieces on the inside giving the viewer beautiful images to look at.
Cherry Blossom Kaleidoscopes
The Cherry Blossom kaleidoscopes are made using an acrylic material for the exterior. The interior displays beautiful colors that create designs related to cherry blossoms on the inside.
Peacekeeper Wooden Kaleidoscopes
This series is made using solid woods which provide a beautiful exterior. The interior gives you a view of a five point star of bright colors, through a two-mirror system.
Which is your favorite kaleidoscope by Jan and Michael Collier?
For a truly unique gift for yourself or someone special in your life, consider the meticulously detailed wood kaleidoscopes crafted by artist Henry Bergeson. These kaleidoscopes are not only works of art in the interior, but also on the exterior as they are made from bubinga, maple, cherry and other types of fine wood. KaleidoscopetoYou.com has a fine selection of Henry Bergeson kaleidoscopes, appropriate for collectors in two- and three-mirror systems, available in a range of prices. These wonderful wood kaleidoscopes may be proudly displayed on a desk, mantel, foyer table, or anywhere you want to present fine collectibles.
Kaleidoscope artist Henry Bergeson grew up in New England, developing a fine love for sailing along with a love for all things mechanical. Taking these interests in mind when earning a degree in mechanical engineering, Bergeson began designing kaleidoscopes in the 1980s with an eye toward national beauty, combined with the precision of mechanical engineering. The results are evident in Henry Bergeson kaleidoscopes such as the popular King’s Ransom and Bubinga Moontide kaleidoscopes, which combine precision optics and fine wooden craftsmanship. Whether choosing a standing or portable model, these unique works of art will provide you with hours of viewing pleasure. You can learn more about Henry Bergeson and his kaleidoscope artistry at KaleidoscopesToYou.com.