Temari Ball Kaleidoscopes by Japanese artist Yukinobu Kitamura
Temari (手まり) balls are a folk art form and Japanese craft originating in China and introduced to Japan around the 7th century A.D. Temari are highly valued and cherished gifts, symbolizing deep friendship and loyalty. Also, the brilliant colors and threads used are symbolic of wishing the recipient a brilliant and happy life.
The artist wraps embroidery thread around an inner core of chaff using only his hands and eyes and without the use of tools creating the beautiful exterior body of the kaleidoscope. The patterns on the balls are often similar to kaleidoscopic images.
The interior images are enhanced by an internal battery operated LED light built into the object cell. The light is activated when the scope is held in viewing position with the eye hole end up. Temari Ball 21B has a 2 mirror system liquid object cell with a full field of mandala imagery.