Handmade Wooden "Kosztalascopes"

What is a even cooler than a kaleidoscope? Glad you asked. The answer is, a handmade, 100% unique Kosztalascope! Evergreen member Steve Kosztala shared his artistic passion with the Evergreen Club members on this past Sunday's VTE. 

KOSZTALASCOPES are kaleidoscopes designed by Steve Kosztala, who is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Here are some examples of the various gorgeous models he makes. They're each unique and so beautiful. The craftmanship is exquisite!

No two Kosztalascopes are alike, but all are designed with a distinctive feature: they can be viewed in either daylight or in the dark.

Steve travels to many art shows all around the country. And he uses the Evergreen Club for his lodging solution! It's expensive to get a booth at one of these big art shows, so to be able to stay for just $15-$20/night is a real game-changer. 

With unique engineering techniques and a multitude of designs, Kosztalascopes come in a wide assortment of wood selections, including cedar, black walnut, oak, mahogany, soft maple, purple heart, and pine.

Steve says, "I enjoy using ever-new technical and aesthetic solutions to wow my audiences." His prices range from $75 - $135 and make excellent gifts. Check out all the details on his website: https://kosztalascopes.com/home.html

Steve says on his website Bio, "Growing up in New London, Connecticut in a large family, I didn't have store-bought toys. Instead my seven siblings and I used our active imaginations to create our own playthings out of whatever materials were available.

"I always enjoyed both the act of designing and working with my hands. After I graduated from the Boston Architectural College in the early '80s, I pursued a 25-year career with the Hamilton County Building Department in Cincinnati, first as a Building Inspector and then as a Plans Examiner."

This is Steve in his workshop creating a circular light chamber on a scroll saw.

He says "After retiring in 2018, I put my love of designing and manual work together and took a class on creating kaleidoscopes. I was hooked. Before long I began crafting wooden kaleidoscopes fittingly called KOSZTALASCOPES."

"With the mind of an inventor, at night I dream of new innovative designs and techniques for my next Kosztalascope."

Check out this cool wood burned design!

Steve goes on to describe his process: "My workshop is at the Essex Studios in Cincinnati. I brainstorm on designs and then sketch out my ideas on paper. From the start I wanted KOSZTALASCOPES to be different from anything people have ever seen in a kaleidoscope. I hit upon the idea of creating a kaleidoscope that could be viewed in any light situation.

"During the day, one holds the Kosztalascope up to a light source such as the sun or an indoor lamp, as in its traditional use.

"In the dark, one flicks on a small on/off switch on an attached assembly piece at the base of the Kosztalascope. In the assembly are an LED light and battery, providing artificial light with which to view the infinite colored glass patterns.

"Kosztalascopes are made from various fine woods and are created on a lathe, with the pieces meticulously assembled by hand. Each Kosztalascope employs unique design and engineering solutions."


In the Evergreen Club, you meet the most amazing, talented people!

Well, that wraps up our colorful, multi-faceted blog post. Thanks so much to Steve again for sharing your unique and beautiful craft with all of us. 

Join us next week for yet another fun-filled VTE via Zoom call. See you at 7:00pm EDT. Cheers!