Stained Glass Kaleidoscope Table
August 4, 2012 9:40 PM   Subscribe

Stained Glass Kaleidoscope Table.

Also, a Facebook gallery of its construction.
posted by 23 (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
That's fascinating. My grandmother used to make glass figurines for our family in a workshop which unfortunately, I never got the chance to visit. They were about 1-2cm high and were hung as wall decor, Christmas tree ornaments, etc. I never learned much about colored/stained glass or the art of using it.

Seeing something like this in action makes me wish I had asked more about it!
posted by fieldcannotbeblank at 11:13 PM on August 4, 2012

Cool concept. But for all the work and thought that went into it, using figural symbols, layered so they obscure each other, seems like such a strange way to go about this. Kaleidoscopes create abstract imagery on the fly, with the materials enhancing one another. This is more like viewing a several unrelated drawings through sheets held up to a light source, then spinning the pages.
posted by Scram at 4:04 AM on August 5, 2012

This is not a kaleidoscope: "A toy consisting of a tube containing mirrors.."

The whole point of a kaleidoscope is that it has mirrors and this device does not.

This isn't just a quibble: the cool thing about a kaleidoscope is that it generates an unlimited number of new patterns because of the effect of the three triangular mirrors. You don't get this with this table.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:56 AM on August 5, 2012 [5 favorites]

And it's NOT NOT NOT worth $200K. The nerve!

One of these costs about $25K, and probably has ten times the design and at least three times the work in it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:11 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

You had me at "stained glass."

I would love to see this in person because the few pictures and the video only hint at the glory of this table; pictures never capture the beauty of stained glass completely.

Is it worth $200,000? Undoubtedly. 8 artists working together invented new techniques to create a labor of love that is not reproducible in the average stained glass workshop. I wish they had done something more attractive with the legs, but I would actually pay money just to see the table in person.

Thank you for posting this.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:57 AM on August 5, 2012

The debates about whether or not it can be a "kaleidoscope" table without mirrors and "is it worth $200k" aside: this is a beautiful piece of artwork. If I won the lottery, I'd definitely be custom-ordering one of these.

My college had a stained glass class that I thought about taking but never did. Looking at this table, I regret that decision right about now.
posted by hypotheticole at 7:13 AM on August 5, 2012

It's never too late, hypotheticole. I took a class at local stained glass supply store/workshop many years ago and it was a lot of fun. Expensive though-- hand blown glass is quite costly and leaded glass is even more so.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:01 PM on August 5, 2012

Stained glass classes should not be prohibitively costly, and supplies really aren't that expensive either- I know this because online shops basically put my family's stained glass hobby supply out of business. Some of the handmade art glass can be very pricey, but machine-made glass is not too expensive.

Other than that, a glass cutter, copper foil (or lead, but that's a more advanced technique) and soldering iron will be your main expenses. Some classes may offer these for students' use, some may not. PM me if you want more info, I used to co-teach a stained glass beginners class.

I made stained glass kaleidoscopes when I was a kid. Really fun, really beautiful.
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:44 AM on August 6, 2012

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