The Great Wetherell Refractor

One of the many things I love about Steampunk is its ability to enchant. Just when I think I’ve seen the pinnacle of Steampunk ingenuity, someone else runs off to create something that floors me with its originality.

The Great Wetherell Refractor is not the first Steampunk telescope to be featured here, but it’s definitely an impressive creation both in size and Victorian functionality.

Created by Tim Wetherell, this 8″ refractor is a masterpiece in Steampunk engineering. Mr. Wetherell’s website features pictures about the telescope as well as notes the various elements and ideas that went into creating it. The way the Great Wetherell Refractor melds modern technology with Victorian aesthetics makes this an outstanding piece of Steampunk art and gadgetry.

You can read more about the Great Wetherell Refractor in the upcoming May 2011 issue of Sky and Telescope in Gary Seronik’s “Telescope Workshop” column.

Steampunk Kaleidoscopes

Taking a break from moving pictures for a while. I’d like to highlight the work of  Steampunk artist Kevin C. Cooper who is making an amazing array of kaleidoscopes, telescopes, and goggles.

Rather than put words in the artist’s mouth, I’d like to present to you commentions from the artist about his creations, via his Etsy shop:

I create devices and artifacts from imagination, found parts and specially manufactured fittings. Everything is hand crafted in my studio, wood parts may be glued together where necessary or screwed when appropriate. Metal parts, usually brass, are soldered, screwed, bolted or riveted.

All of my creations are unique “one of a kind” works of art. Each one bears a small engraved plate with my name and the year of creation. Each one also comes complete with a certificate of authenticity signed by me.

All the kaleidoscopes are fully functioning. I use high quality “First surface mirror” for optimum clarity of the viewed image.

Please bear in mind some parts of my creations may be of great age, in fact even Victorian. some of the newer parts which I make out of necessity will where appropriate be “aged” to match, consequently they will not look brand new.

For more information on how these impressive kaleidoscopes, you can check out Kevin’s blog here.