What began as some self imposed therapy following a heart attack has now become a passion for me. 

In 1997 while hospitalized for my heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery, some friends brought me a kaleidoscope.  I discovered that it brought great joy to those whose work involves caring for the seriously ill as well as to all those who came to visit me.  As I often say, "It's really hard not to smile when you're looking through a kaleidoscope."

As a part of my rehabilitation, I took up woodworking.  There is no such thing as too many tools and eventually, I acquired a lathe.  What to make?  Why, kaleidoscopes, of course!  Along with a few gavels once in a while, I also make spurtles and dibbers, two of the most fun words in the English language.

I've found that kaleidoscopes provide a valuable metaphor on life.  Just when you think you've encountered the most beautiful image possible in a kaleidoscope, a slight shift will change everything.  At first, you may feel very disappointed as theoretically, that image will never ever again appear.    However, while different, the new image is also beautiful and you discover that more changes will produce still more beautiful images.  Soon you learn to let yourself go and just look forward to what will happen next.

Each one of my kaleidoscopes is a little different from any other I have made.  I buy the brass, glass and acrylic parts but turn the wooden parts individually without any patterns or templates.

No stains or dyes are used on the wood of my kaleidoscopes.  The colors are natural and only pure tung oil is used as a finish.  Should the finish dull or get scratched, a little furniture polish will rejuvenate the shine.

My studio and showroom were located in the old Palmer school building in Palmer, Iowa, USA.  In April of 2004 I purchased an 1890's drugstore building in downtown Pomeroy and moved my shop and gallery there.

In 2006 I purchased the building next door at 106 South Main Street and expanded into it.  Because of the many tourists and tour buses I attract, in late 2013 I moved to 214 N Main in Pocahontas. My kaleidoscopes and other creations are now on display there.  Also there is The College of Leonard where I hold art classes. 

For those interested in kaleidoscope history in general, Here's a link to the digital copy of  The Kaleidoscope by Sir David Brewster.

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