Flowers are one of the most popular subjects in art—and on stamps. In a modern twist on a perennial favorite, the Kaleidoscope Flowers stamps combine the allure of flowers with the impact of computer graphics.
Kaleidoscopes are familiar to many people who enjoyed them as children. Invented by Sir David Brewster about 1816, kaleidoscopes later became a favorite parlor diversion in Victorian times and continued in popularity as a toy in the 20th century.
In its simplest form, the kaleidoscope is a tube that holds fragments of colored glass and angled mirrors that reflect images of those fragments. Viewed through an eyepiece at the top of the tube, patterns can be changed endlessly by rotating the bottom section containing the loose bits of glass. No two images are identical, and the kaleidoscope can create a never-ending array of beautiful art.
Finding inspiration in their love of nature, graphic artists Petra and Nicole Kapitza created a series of graphic shapes based on the natural arrangement of flowers’ leaves and petals that—much like the kaleidoscope’s fragments—can be combined into a variety of different forms and patterns. Drawing from that series, they developed one unique design especially for the stamp. Though the flower design evokes an old-fashioned kaleidoscope image, the process of creating the shape was very modern, combining an artistic vision of nature with a keen knowledge of modern graphics software.
The Kaleidoscope Flowers stamps are being issued at a First-Class Mail denomination in self-adhesive coils of 3,000 and 10,000.