"Reculer pour mieux sauter" is one of the very few bits of french I can remember - possibly from school, although the expressed idea seems a bit sophisticated for an impatient seventeen year old.
In the last episode I left the Cycloidoscope undergoing a genteel adjustment and arrangement of gears, balancing the various gears on their spindles so that they didn't flop around when left to their own devices. When I brought it all up to the house to show off and was looking through it admiring the charming effects, I noticed two things: first, that the alignment of the kaleidoscopic images at the vertices of adjoining triangles was definitely off. (Actually, it had never been all that good — something which I ascribed to the original arrangement of the triangular mirror assembly. It had turned out to be a millimetre or so larger than I'd anticipated, and had required a rather substantial amount of force to get it all the way into the barrel*. But then it would never need to come out again, so that was okay, wasn't it?); and second, that there seemed to be a faint line across one section of the image. Dust? A hair? For all my inner denial, it was obviously it was a crack — but how? when? where?
A cursory look inside confirmed that one of the three mirrors was indeed cracked (from "side to side"). How this had happened was of minor interest. Getting the mirror assembly out of the barrel was something else. There was only one way:
Roy C. of Gulf Islands Glass immediately made three (slightly smaller) new mirrors for me just before he left for a short holiday, and even donated them to the cause. This time the assembly was installed without affecting their alignment, with a consequent improvement in the image quality. The cause of the crack was simple - one of the wooden screws holding the barrel to the base was a fraction too long; tightening it up caused it to press against one of the mirrors, which, of course, broke.
Reassembling the gears &c. was also an opportunity to introduce a 6" disc of Brazilian Rosewood as the last object in the series, thus giving an option of a uniformly pattered background to the viewed image, rather than fragments of whatever happened to be in room at the time (also interesting, but in a different way).
All this was finally hauled off to Howard Fry's studio on Fulford Harbour to be photographed, along with a score of other pieces for the up-coming pART show and auction at Artspring, which are part of the Velo Village bicycling event that takes place on Saltspring later this June.
I'll post links to Howard's photos and more pART information as they become available.
*It in fact needed two bar clamps, and heaven knows why it all didn't just break there and then.