Book Art · Uncategorized

Coming Full Spiral

Sprial 1

One of my first fascinations was making repeated circles and ellipses with something called the Magic Designer. I would spend hours at our neighbor Mrs. Carter’s house, playing with a little red machine that, indeed, seemed to make magical designs.  Mrs. Carter eventually gave me her machine, but when I ran out of the specially cut paper and was unsuccessful at creating a workable substitute (oh I tried!!) the machine fell into disuse and disappeared from my life. But I had really loved using it.

The Magic Design machine and Klutz wheels
The Magic Design machine and Klutz wheels

Years later I chanced upon a Magic Designer…but (like my experience with hoola-hoops) I’ve never been able to do, as adult, the magic I did with the machine as a kid.  I tried other types of spirograph set ups. The best I found was one made by  Klutz . I don’t know if they still produce their circle wheels, but I had a great time with them.

Images made with Klutz spirograph wheels
Images made with Klutz spirograph wheels

For awhile I was made image after image with the Klutz product. At that time gel pens were just showing up everywhere, and there were brands widely available that worked great on dark paper. I used these along with prismacolor pencils, and had a great time. But I stopped being about to find appropriate gel pens, and I moved on.

Shapes transformed in Adobe
Shapes transformed in Adobe

Now I have figured out how to make spirals in Adobe! And I feel like I’m home again! Serendipity feels like it’s having a field day in my life;  I have a series of little books that I want to make. One of them has to do with pi (you know that elusive 3.141……) and what better illustration than making circle and circles and circles.


Here in this post are peeks at some pages that I am working on. It’s going to be tricky to work on this, as my book arts teaching schedule is full until mid-June. I’ll be posting about my book-arts-in-the-classroom projects, but this other book will be quietly spinning around in my background.

6 thoughts on “Coming Full Spiral

    1. Here’s something funny…when I pulled out the Magic Designer to photograph it, my husband, who I have been married to for over twenty years, started telling me , for the first time, about his Magic Designer, and how much he liked it! He’s the first person who has ever told me about his joyful memories of this machine. And you are the second. Thanks!!


  1. I remember my Magic Designer – and loved it. I think Santa had brought me several through the years. I think of it every time I see the circle designs made with the plastic circle – like gears. I guess they are made by Kultz. The new ones have never intrigued me, as I longed for my old metal one! Thanks for the memories!


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