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There are many types of kaleidoscopes:
Teleidoscopes have a clear orb on the end that turns everything they are pointed toward into a kaleidoscopic image. With a teleidoscope, the world is your image! If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive handcrafted kaleidoscope, a teleidoscope is a great option because of its simplicity in design. With some, you can even take pictures with a digital camera and turn your friends into kaleidoscopic images.
Teleidoscope pictured at left is by artist Peter Berube of Rainbow Ridge.
Wheel Kaleidoscopes have one, two, or more wheels which comprise the endpiece. The wheels can be fixed or hollow cylinders, carousels, or turntables and are made of glass, stone, metal filigree, or many other materials arranged in a variety of patterns.
Wheel scope pictured at left is by artist Jon Greene of Chesnik Scopes.
Dry Cell Kaleidoscopes contain colorful pieces that tumble as you turn them. Unlike oil-filled cell scopes, when you stop turning, the pieces stop tumbling. This allows you to focus on the image for a while, and even take a picture if you want.
Dry cell scope pictured at left is part of our Kaleidoscope Toy Collection.
The Parlor Scope by Kathleen Hunt of Kaleido Art is a combination wheel and dry cell scope, where the pieces tumble inside of a glass wheel (closeup shown at right).
Oil-Filled Kaleidoscopes have many moving pieces inside the cell, also called the chamber or object case, which provide the most varied and nonrepetitive imagery. There is also more variety in the cell itself. clear, frosted, or etched; recessed, flush, or protruding; black backdrop, side-lit; and liquid-filled. By turning the cell, the objects tumble quickly or slowly depending on the viscosity of the oil. Once you stop turning, the objects continue to drift dreamily.
Oil-filled cell scope pictured at left is by artist Henry Bergeson of Blackfoot Ventures.
Other artists who make oil cell scopes include: A.W. Scopes, Chromascopes, Collier Kaleidoscopes, Corki Weeks Kaleidoscopes,Images, Kaleidovisions, On Reflection, Secret Garden Kaleidoscopes, Sue Rioux Designs, and Woodland Designs.
Wand Kaleidoscopes are so named because of the distinctive wand, or "space tube," pioneered in 1990 by WildeWood Creative Products (in collaboration with Cozy Baker). Wand scopes are popular because you don't have to do anything– just hold it like an hourglass, look through the eyepiece and let gravity do the work for you.
Wand scope pictured at left is by artist David Sugich of Ultimate Reflections.
Marble Kaleidoscopes use single or multiple marbles as objects. Several artists make their own marbles and use many different mirror systems to create unique images combining the aspects of a teleidoscope with the swirling colors of handblown glass marbles. Knowing just the right combination of elements to include in these hand-blown spheres can provide extraordinary viewing.
Marble scope pictured at left is by artist Jerry Farnsworth of Farnsworth Kaleidoscopes.
Turntable Kaleidoscopes don't quite fit into any of the other categories. They have a tube with mirrors suspended over an object that turns or spins. Some turntable scopes even play music, such as the one pictured at left by artist Massimo Strino of Imago Kaleidoscopes.
Other artists who make turntable scopes include: Farnsworth Kaleidoscopes.
Kaleidoscope Jewelry combines the beauty of wearable art with the intricate designs of handcrafted kaleidoscopes. Some of the smallest kaleidoscopes can be found on necklaces or rings. Even with small eyepieces, there is no limit to the images created with these scopes.
Kaleidoscope pendant pictured at left is by artists Deborah & Kevin Healy of Healy Designs.
Other artists who make kaleidoscope jewelry include: Little Bear and Riley Designs.