3" Wheel of Shells in Brass for Chesnik Kaleidoscope

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front view of the 3" Wheel of Shells in Brass for Chesnik Kaleidoscope

3" Wheel of Shells in Brass

Here's a a lovely wheel that would make a terrific add-on to several styles* of Chesnik Scopes. The majority of the image that you see as you look through one of these kaleidoscopes is created by the primary wheel, or the one closest to your eye, and the secondary wheel that comes with it provides background or accent image. When you unscrew the knob holding the wheels and trade out the wheels front-to-back, you are rewarded with an entirely different kaleidoscopic view. When you add a third distinctly different wheel to choose from and interchange, imagine all the permutations. It's truly a visual extravaganza.

Jon creates this particular wheel by first by collecting local (Mashpee, Cape Cod) shells in interesting combinations of textures and pearlescence.

He wraps each shell in very narrow copper foil tape, carefully smoothing each side. Once he's accumulated deep trays of several colors, he then builds each wheel like a unique puzzle. Using forms he created himself, he painstakingly places the shells so that there's an equal amount of narrow space between each one. This will enable light to shine through the wheel and for the second wheel to show as well, once they're both attached to the mirrored tube or body of the kaleidoscope.

Once he's satisfied with this spacing, he solders the pieces together using lead solder, and then checks that the wheel is evenly weighted so that it will spin freely and not stop in any one spot. His last step involves wrapping a piece of lead came as a brim for the wheel. Once a large of batch of wheels is complete, he sends them to a metal plating company for either brass- or chrome-plating, an industrial process, and the final result is that each wheel's metal parts set off the inherent beauty of the shells, for maximum impact!

*This wheel can be added to the following kaleidoscopes:

You can also store four extra wheels in the Wheel Rack for 3" Wheels-Walnut

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