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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crazy Telescopes

It may be enough for the casual astronomer to work with a telescope on a tripod out on the balcony, but the serious astronomer needs something more.  The 'main array' is more than just a telescope; it's three telescopes combined with a recumbent seat and writing slope.

This crazy contraption is made mostly from balsa wood.  The central post is balsa dowel.  The telescopes themselves are more balsa whittled into a cone shape or simply more balsa dowel.  They are connected to the central post by toothpicks pushed into the wood which allows each telescope to swivel.  The back of the seat is part of a cheap chair while the remainder of the seat and writing slope are more balsa.  All this sits on a (chipped) plaster ceiling rose which sits on a small wooded cotton reel which sits on a fancy round jewellery finding.  Old watch gears have been added to help give the impression that actual working mechanics are involved.

Here you can see Harry testing the main array out.  There is just one catch - to make use of the writing slope to make notes you need to be left handed.

I'm also thinking that perhaps all gold is too much gold on the array.  Perhaps it would be better is parts of it were painted silver, pewter or plain old black?

And just in case a three telescope array isn't enough telescopes there are three small hand held telescopes stored on the chest of drawers on the side wall.  I bought these drawers at the local doll, bear and miniature fair years ago.  It was the very first thing I saw when I walked into the fair and I fell instantly in love, but have never found the right place to use it.  I think it almost passes as Moroccan against the almost Arabic feel of the wallpaper (um, wall-fabric?).

 And yes, for those casual astronomers, there are a couple of tripod mounted telescopes out on the balcony.  The tripods are bamboo skewers cut to length and glued together are one end.

By the door (which you may notice I have changed a little since last week) is a floor standing orrery.  Like the main array this has a central post of balsa dowel with a variety of beads on jewellery head pins to simulate the planets of a solar system orbiting the 'sun' which is a charm pinned to the centre post.

On the right side of the room is a 'celestial globe' with stars represented by small flat backed rhinestones.  The globe is a ping pong ball painted dark blue and finished off with jewellery findings.  Behind the globe is a folding screen and a hexagonal seat for the astronomer tired of standing.

I was too busy playing with all these crazy telescopes to do any work on the little 48th scale house this week, but I will get back to it soon.


  1. Hi Alennka
    This room is amazing. I LOVE all the telescopes and that chest of drawers is gorgeous. If I had seen that at a show, I wouldn't have been able to pass it either. I do that regularly, buy something I love....knowing I'll find a home for it sometime :) Again, gorgeous room.
    All the best

  2. Great job on all of the astronomy equipment. You do such amazing things with balsa.