Category Archives: How They Work

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.

The Different Types of Kaleidoscopes

As a child, you have a “if you’ve seen one kaleidoscope, you’ve seen them all” mindset, but as an adult who enjoys collecting these beautiful works of art, you know that there are different types of kaleidoscopes. Teleidoscope

Kaleidoscope: The most common form of a kaleidoscope is a cylinder, containing loose, colorful objects and mirrors, which are used to create a reflection of beautiful colors.

Teleidoscope: Invented by John Lyon Burnside and patented in 1972, a teleidoscope has a lens with an open view, which can be used to form stunning patterns from objects outside of the device. With a teleidoscope you can turn the entire world into a colorful piece of wonder.

Wheelscope: This type of kaleidoscope features one or more wheels at the end of the viewing tube. These unique kaleidoscopes can have removable and interchangeable rotating object chambers.

MarblescopeThis type of kaleidoscope uses single or multiple marbles instead of the object chamber that’s normally used. These kaleidoscopes can contain a large number of images.

No matter what type of kaleidoscope, you’re sure to see a number of beautiful images when you look through the lens! When you shop you’ll find a large selection of kaleidoscopes, teleidoscopes, marblescopes and more!

The Kaleidoscope as a Metaphor

Colorful kaleidoscope

It’s true, many of us enjoy looking through the viewer of a kaleidoscope for the basic reasons – it’s amazing art, but have you considered the kaleidoscope as a metaphor for how life is constantly changing but remains beautiful? Think about it!

When you look into a kaleidoscope, what do you see? Do you see just a bunch of geometric patterns and shapes, reflected onto glass? Do you see a work of art? One could argue that the thing you see is a fleeting moment of beauty, much like the fleeting moments we have in life. It’s often bittersweet, because nothing lasts forever. On the other hand, if you continue to tumble, you’ll eventually find new beauty in a different arrangement of the same pieces.

Additionally, the fact that you hold a kaleidoscope up to the light to view each new arrangement is very meaningful. Cleansing light has been used for hundreds of years in a variety of works of art, including religious paintings. New light brings forth new beauty. Each time you look into your kaleidoscope, you are looking at something in a new light.

Isn’t that some food for thought? Take a look at our kaleidoscopes yourself and consider the fragility and fleeting wonders of life. offers a wide array of standard and custom kaleidoscopes that you won’t find anywhere else!

Discovering the Difference: Kaleidoscopes Vs. Teleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes vs Teleidoscopes

I remember as a child, looking into my little kaleidoscope and watching the colors move around and change shape, and I couldn’t figure out how this mystical device worked. I would shake the kaleidoscope and look into the other end so I could see the little colored balls, and wonder how they made different shapes and colors when you turned the kaleidoscope.

It would be later on in life when I learned how a kaleidoscope works – using mirrors, set in a particular angle to one another, which reflect the colors of the little objects at the end. These objects are generally acrylic balls, sand, or pieces of glass.

But then I recalled a few memories from the same period, in which I clearly remember looking through my kaleidoscope at a specific object in the room, and watching it change shape as I moved. It’s then that I realized I was mesmerized by a teleidoscope, which is commonly mistaken for its more popular counterpart.

Invented a hundred years after the kaleidoscope, the teleidoscope is open at the end, so you can aim it at any object and watch the object turn into geometric patterns. It uses mirrors and reflections to create the patterns, just like a kaleidoscope, but you can ultimately turn any object you wish into a rotating geometric image. Oh, the possibilities!

The Wonders of How Kaleidoscopes Work

We all love looking into a kaleidoscope and seeing a variety of different colors and shapes. We never get exactly the same experience each time, and it’s likely that no two people have ever seen the same kaleidoscopic images. So how do kaleidoscopes work, and what makes them so interesting?

Kaleidoscopes, at their simplest, are two or more mirrors placed inside a long telescope-like body. These mirrors are angled to highlight and reflect a number of objects, which are also placed in the scope. An eye hole is added to one of the ends of the scope for the user to look through. Shaking or rotating the kaleidoscope’s body changes the position of the items inside. The kaleidoscope image you see is a fraction of the entire reflection of these items, so that their mutual symmetry is reflected in the mirrors. This produces the endless diversity of geometric patterns that give kaleidoscopes their intrigue.

The objects in a kaleidoscope could be ordinary items. Colored glass is the most common, but beads, buttons, glitter, ribbon, and confetti can be used inside a kaleidoscope. Some kaleidoscopes also utilize objects from nature like feathers and flowers, or colored backgrounds which add to the existing shapes. These can sometimes be interchangeable, allowing for different viewing experiences in the same kaleidoscope. If you’re using a teleidoscope, the reflections of the items around you take the place of the objects that would normally reside inside the body of the scope.

Even if you know how a kaleidoscope works, the viewing experience inside it is always interesting and fun. You can impress your friends with knowledge about how kaleidoscopes work, but they’ll probably still find a bit of magic inside.

Kaleidoscopes: A Road to Creativity

Kaleidoscopes are known for their beautiful color swirling illusions, but these amazing devices can truly open your creative mind while also sharpening your critical thinking skills. Most users view a kaleidoscope with their dominate eye, but switching the scope to your non-dominant eye can actually stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain, where creativity hides. By changing our perception while looking through a kaleidoscope, we can unlock the creativity that hides in our right hemisphere! This is extremely beneficial for those who are involved in any type of art-form from writers to painters.

When people are able to think critically, they are more capable to manage stressful life situations. Health, work and family problems are easier to tackle when our minds are clear and able to problem solve at a higher level. A kaleidoscope has the power of opening our minds to be able to think more clearly and explore alternatives to problems that can ultimately benefit us.

It’s been said that looking through a kaleidoscope can help expand thinking and make a person more creative by helping the user relax and calm their nerves. It’s amazing to think a kaleidoscope has the power to help our minds de-stress and unlock creativity that might be hidden inside our minds. Not only are kaleidoscopes a delight to look at, they are great secret healers that help people relax, focus, aid in creativity and help us solve our problems much more effectively .If you need to reduce stress, lift your spirit and bring balance into your hectic life, consider buying a beautiful handcrafted kaleidoscope! The benefits of these pieces of art is truly amazing!

Discovering The Inner Workings of a Kaleidoscope

A kaleidoscope may look like a simple children’s toy, but throughout history, the inner workings of a kaleidoscope have been marveled by many scientists and curious wonderers. A kaleidoscope is made using a cylinder with two or more mirrors. Enclosed in the cylinder are loose, colored objects such as beads, pebbles or tiny pieces of glass.

Every kaleidoscope design is based upon the principles of multiple reflections, which basically means that when two or more mirrors are angled towards one another, light with reflect off of the mirrors and bounce in different directions. When two mirrors are placed in a kaleidoscopes cylinder the light from the mirrors bounces back and forth off the colored objects thousands and thousands of times, creating the beautiful and mesmerizing patterns that we see when we look through the lens of a kaleidoscope.

Whether you’re looking through a handcrafted wooden kaleidoscope or a plastic children’s kaleidoscope, you’re guaranteed to see a beautiful display of colors and patterns that people of all ages enjoy. Next time you find yourself peering through the looking glass think about all of the handwork and physics that has gone into creating these mesmerizing devices.

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes are magical instruments that produce a wonder of colors and images for users to view and enjoy. Although many of us have had the pleasure of viewing one in our lives, many of us knew little about them, such as who invented them, how exactly they work and so on. Here at we’re here to offer a wide variety of kaleidoscopes from jewelry to favors, but also to teach you about them along the way. So we present to you 6 things you probably didn’t know about kaleidoscopes.

1. They were invented by Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster in the year 1816.
2. The world’s largest kaleidoscope is located in Mt. Tremper, N.Y., and stands a whopping 64 feet tall.
3. The scientific term “kaleidoscope” is rooted from the Greek words kalos meaning beautiful, eidos meaning form, and skopien which means to view.
4. The images that we see in a kaleidoscope are the creation of symmetry through reflections.
5. The first kaleidoscope appeared in the United States, reportedly, in 1870.
6. The kaleidoscope is used as a tool to produce ranges of colors and patterns for artists who create rugs, stained glass, jewelry, architectural patterns, wallpaper, woven tapestries, and more.

Kaleidoscopes are very majestical instruments that are used for both pleasure among children as toys and even for professionals for inspiration. Whether you want a kaleidoscope for fun or as a wonderful decoration piece for your home, we can help! Visit for a great selection of kaleidoscopes in a variety of sizes, quality and price. Find the perfect gift for anyone or even yourself right here at Kaleidoscopes To You!

Kaleidoscope or Teleidoscope Which is it?

Wooden Teleidoscope

Wooden Teleidoscope

Kaleidoscope or Teleidoscope? Which is it? Actually all teleidoscopes are kaleidoscopes; but just a subset of kaleidoscopes. A Teleidoscope has only a clear marble at the end of the mirror system so it creates a kaleidoscopic view of the world. A kaleidoscope has its own source for color within the object chamber at the end of the mirror system. Most teleidoscopes are 3 mirror configurations. There are a few teleidoscopes that are 2 mirror which means the third side of the triangular tunnel is black or solid. A 2 mirror configuration would create a single round Mandala type image of whatever you are viewing. A 3 mirror configuration would create a full quilt of color for your image.

Still confused about how a teleidoscope which is a specific type of kaleidoscope works?