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The Reappearance of Kaleidoscopes

The Reappearance of Kaleidoscopes
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Kaleidoscopes are exotic toys that have a practical application in terms of pattern making, architecture, even abstract art. Whilst apps now exist to create kaleidoscopic patterns on our smartphones, there is increasing interest in hand made kaleidoscopes which are made in the United States, Russia and Japan.

Kaleidoscope maker Gunther Scholl from Munich tells us all about the reappearance and importance of kaleidoscopes in today's world.

Gunther explains the different kinds of kaleidoscopes that are currently available. Some of them have liquids inside of them, some of them are dry, and there are also teleidoscopes, which have the effect of making you see everything kaleidoscopically. “This is mind blowing,” Gunther says.

“Many people ask me, why do you do this? One of the reasons is to see the smiles that appear on people’s face; not just on children’s faces, but teenagers, you know the ones that are walking around with their phones in front of them while they are visiting Edinburgh and don’t see anything. If you give a teleidoscope to anyone, the smiles, the reactions are really incredible.”

To the question: “Why is there a renaissance in Kaleidoscopes happening now?” Gunther says: “There is a search for beauty and harmony going on inside of each human being. A good kaleidoscope can help you find that beauty. After the 1940s, the kaleidoscope tuned into a cheap toy, but in fact, they turn anything into a show of perfection… You have one eye closed, and are totally concentrated, which is usually something that only happens when you do meditation or something like that, because your mind is stilled.”

Kaleidoscopes, Gunther says, provide a change of perspective. “We rarely pause to see the beauty that is in everything.” It is not revealing a different reality, it is revealing a different perspective of an already existing reality. Beyond such philosophical contemplations, is the underlying benefit, that kaleidoscopes help people to quieten their minds.

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