blooming kaleidoscope

Recent­ly I received a love­ly email from a vis­i­tor to the blog :D She’s an edi­tor of a book arts jour­nal in Aus­tralia (being able to con­nect with won­der­ful peo­ple from dif­fer­ent cor­ners of the globe is one of the best things about keep­ing a blog! :D), who kind­ly shared not only encour­ag­ing words but also lots of great ideas and inspi­ra­tion about print­mak­ing and book arts. (One of which is gelatin print­ing — so intrigu­ing! I’ve got to try that out soon!)

Con­ver­sa­tions about book arts remind­ed me of a book­bind­ing class I took while in uni­ver­si­ty. (Ah, that was quite a few years ago…) The book­bind­ing course was one of my favourite class­es, and one of the coolest assign­ments was the altered book project, using dis­card­ed books from the Ref­er­ence Library.

I pulled this botan­i­cal ref­er­ence book from the dis­card­ed book pile.


I could­n’t read the text, but I loved the pic­tures of flow­ers and plants. One of my first child­hood toys was a kalei­do­scope, and I remem­bered how much time I’ve spent look­ing through it, could­n’t put it down, just mesmerized. I thought the bright pho­tographs of the plants and flow­ers would make beau­ti­ful images to look through with a kalei­do­scope. So that was what I made (cylin­der on the right), and I cov­ered it with the end papers of the book.

It real­ly does work! See? This is the hole through which one looks in, made with the table of contents.


The book now hous­es the inter­change­able “lens­es”, made with the pages of pho­tographs and illus­tra­tions from the book. Kind of looks like a col­lec­tion of spec­i­mens in petri dishes.


The end piece fits around the look­ing tube like this…


And you turn it and take a look through… (psst! click for a larg­er image!)


It’s more crafty than “art­sy”, and I guess since I was attend­ing an art col­lege I should be mak­ing some­thing “art­sy”, with more of a state­ment or mean­ing or what­ev­er, but I was rather hap­py with it. Just a sim­ple appre­ci­a­tion of light and the per­fect beau­ty of nature.

And with the bril­liant weath­er we’ve been hav­ing late­ly, I’ve had a great time look­ing through all of the “spec­i­mens” again with the love­ly sun­light stream­ing through.

In order for the kalei­do­scope to work I made the images trans­par­ent. That process in itself needs a post of its own, I think. I’ll write about it more in the next week or so, stay tuned! :D

Have a great day! :D

4 thoughts on “blooming kaleidoscope

  1. Sweet! These are cool projects that I will share with my nephews and nieces when they get old­er! A very nice idea in which you can show­case nature to your loved ones. Thanks!

  2. Oh Trish, how fan­tas­tic these kalei­do­scope cir­cles are. I’ve long since had a fas­ci­na­tion with kalei­do­scopes. Thank you for putting the link to the jour­nal. We are about to pub­lish issue 6, 3d and Sculpt­ed. Lin­da x

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