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A Guide to the Best of Southern California : HANDMADE : Totally Tubular

Tiny nuggets of brilliantly colored glass sparkle in the light, revolving inside wheels stationed on the end of a mirrored tube--a construction that is typical of a David York original.

An amateur astronomer by night and a kaleidoscope builder by day, York began working with glass 15 years ago. Now, he makes nothing but fine-art kaleidoscopes, handcrafted treasures that can be found in private collections around the world--and with good reason. He is particular about details, down to using front-surfaced mirrors, not the common variety with the silvery coating on the back. Those, York says, produce undesirable “ghost images” in scopes.

If you want the moon and the stars, York’s top-of-the-line $280 model should fill the bill. It’s an 18-inch-long triangular tube of stained glass featuring lunar and stellar designs and two interchangeable wheels--each with a different mix of glass. Viewing accessories include extra wheels, a stand and a small light to shine through the rainbow. For those eager to invest in a more modest bit of sparkledom, York’s single-wheelers come in a variety of sizes and prices.

David York’s kaleidoscopes are available at Kaleido, 8840 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 276-6844.

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