A cell is an enclosed object case and usually contains loose objects that move about in the chamber. Some artists have created cells that can be opened and the viewer can add or remove objects but most cells are sealed. Cells can be liquid filled or dry. Liquid cells allow for slower and more flowing motion in the image while dry cells shift quickly but remain stationary until they are moved again. Several artists have developed cells that have been called pucks because they are shaped like a hockey puck. Cells can be any size or shape and are only limited by the imagination of the artist. Some cells are fixed to the kaleidoscope so that the whole kaleidoscope needs to be moved or shaken. Other cell scopes allow for the cell to move independently of the body of the kaleidoscope by turning the cell. A special type of cell kaleidoscope uses a polarized lens to create a rainbow effect within the chamber.
Marble kaleidoscopes are made by attaching or suspending a marble at the end of the mirrors. Though simple in concept, artists have created many spectacular images from artist created marbles and unique mirror systems.
A kaleidoscope wheel has a center axis that is attached to the kaleidoscope at the end of the mirrors. The wheels turn in front of the mirrors and create the image. The wheels can be set in a fixed pattern of objects, a cylinder containing loose objects or a carousel in which the viewer can change or arrange objects. The number of wheels can vary and with some kaleidoscopes be removed or exchanged.
A teleidoscope does not have an attached object case. With a teleidoscope, you look through the mirrors and the world around you becomes a kaleidoscope image. Several artists have created a teleidoscope lens for cameras including camera phones. Brewster referred to the teleidoscope as the purest form of a kaleidoscope, because the viewer is not limited by the objects in an object case. Rather, the whole world becomes his kaleidoscope. It’s been said that the ultimate value of the teleidoscope is the potential each viewer has to see his own environment as a creative work of art.
A wand is a sealed tube that is usually made of glass or plastic and filled with loose objects floating in a liquid. Cozy Baker during one of the earliest Brewster conventions had a three foot wand and a Marti Freund teleidoscope and was showing everyone what a wonderful image this created. In 1990, WildeWood Creative Products in collaboration with Cozy Baker marketed this as a toy kaleidoscope. The wand is usually attached to the kaleidoscope perpendicular to the end of the mirror system. The objects in the wand float past the mirrors creating the image. The wand is then rotated to restart the movement.