Continuing in my January theme of back to basics, I’m going to blog about the mirror systems in kaleidoscopes today. The magic part of the scope is the mirrors. This is where the multiplication, geometry and physics all take place.
A 3 mirror kaleidoscope is the most common and traditional toy image. This is where 3 equal strips of mirror are configured into a triangular tube. This creates a triangular quilt of color within your kaleidoscope. The Big Jazzy Kaleidoscopes are a great example of a traditional 3 mirror kaleidoscope.
A 2 mirror system is still configured in a triangular tube, but the third side is matte black so the reflections are only 2 fold. This creates beautiful and symmetrical round mandalas with a gorgeous centerpoint. Peggy and Steve Kittleson make an excellent 2 mirror system.
A tapered 3 mirror system is configured wider at the eye and all 3 sides narrower at the object cell. This creates a domed interior image.
This the Westwind Kaleidoscope by Joanne Jacobs.
Mirror systems are the heart of kaleidoscopes,where the magic happens.