Kaleidoscope U

Confessions of a Collector > Robert

Featured Collector : Robert

In 1990, my life changed. I discovered kaleidoscopes. Hi, my name is Robert. I work in the retirement office in my county and through my work, enjoy dealing with the public and especially the elderly. Having kaleidoscopes at the office always makes my day.

A number of years ago, Judith Paul wrote about 7 Levels of Collecting. I am now showing signs of being a Collector of the Fifth Level. While I have not taken out a second mortgage on my home to indulge in my collecting, the current economy has caught my attention. Some people look at this stock market crash and the resulting losses in their portfolios. I look at it
in terms of kaleidoscopes lost. All that money gone that could have bought more and more scopes.

Art Fairs are always fun and I would buy things people would call different. One artist showed me a piece that was not only different – but it captured me. This was a kaleidoscope that had magic. After a few purchases, I began to travel progressively further from my home to find kaleidoscopes and to take classes in making kaleidoscopes. During a class in Minnesota I learned about the Brewster Society and soon after had an opportunity to meet some of the kaleidoscope artists. You guessed it, next stop San Diego – my first Brewster Convention.

I started to bring my kaleidoscopes to work to share with my co-workers. Soon, my kaleidoscopes filled two large desk drawers and there were 2 large kaleidoscopes on my desk. Construction work at my office forced me to bring my collection home. A 7 foot tall curio cabinet with 7 shelves was their new residence.

Whether at work or at home when someone asks what “it” is, I will show them one scope then another and another. If they are still there when I reach for the third scope, I know they are hooked. By the way, you may have already guessed, that curio cabinet is now filled – stuffed actually – and I still have kaleidoscopes at work.

My collection numbers over 120 and contains many artists – some are one time tries and others include the must-haves. The scopes are wood, metal, ceramic, plastic, and alabaster. Oil cells out number other types. I even have a binocular scope with a dry flower cell and three scopes that are over 20 inches tall.

Sometime we should have a contest for the strangest tales about traveling with kaleidoscopes. I have had a suitcase checked for explosives by wiping a cloth over the zipper. Another time an airport security person was looking at a scope after removing the socks used to protect it. Before too long her coworkers came to see these magical kaleidoscopes. The lines at the security check point grew – just like my kaleidoscope collection.

Hope to see everyone at the next Brewster Convention
- I have found a large, empty drawer.