Hopeful Traveler


A dear friend supplied us with a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, from Virginibus Puerisque, 1881. “Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.” The impact of this quote hit home as we labored to complete the first 3 pieces in this series of kaleidoscopes. The real joy of this series for us is the labor to achieve it. “The Hopeful Traveler” is entirely hand turned out of highly figured woods by Randy. The ornamentation is then added by the use of a ornamental lathe. Ornamental turning dates back to the 1700’s. These machines are extremely rare and sought after as collectable antiques. Not being able to purchase an antique machine or wanting the reasonability of preserving one, Randy built his own machine using modern materials. The “The Hopeful Traveler” parlor kaleidoscope has a two mirror system which produces a six pointed star. The highest quality front surfaced mirror is used in conjunction with a magnification lens making the optics crisp and clear. Both Shelley and Randy have individually lamped worked glass pieces for the fluid filled object cell. Each piece is a sculpture within itself. The light dances across the textured surface of the lamped worked glass creating multiple hues of color against a black background. On the exterior of the object cell there is an elliptical pattern. Only the lightest touch is needed to rotate the objects within the cell, using the ball bearing mounted stainless steel rotator that is made by Randy. The final touch is a hand rubbed finish which enhances the depth and beauty of the grain in the woods. “The Hopeful Traveler” is signed and dated by the Knapp’s.

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