Lotus Scopes is the latest incarnation of “the Alex Bouteneff tradition of fine motor skills as art.” Having mastered the crafts of woodworking, wooden inlay and ships in bottles before turning his manual talents to a career as an ENT surgeon, he sees these “formative episodes” as milestones on his journey here.
After studying with masters Scott Cole, Sheryl Koch, Janice Chesnik and Charles Karadimos, today Alex is leaving his mark on the trade. Exploring new applications for traditional techniques and developing new ones, he prides himself on pushing the envelope mechanically and conceptually. The result? Lotus Scopes is a constantly evolving integration of craftsmanship and innovation in viewing pleasure.
But, there’s another, deeper, force that drew Alex to kaleidoscopes: Tibetan Buddhism. In his own words, “Fifteen years ago, I watched a monk spend five weeks creating a sand mandala, one grain at a time, then ritually dismantle it. Sand mandalas are incredibly complex to design and labor-intensive to make, yet ultimately destined for ceremonial destruction to symbolize the transitory nature of life. The connection was immediate and profound. I saw the process as a celebration of impermanence, of the symmetry in chaos, and had to know more about the philosophy it came from. This monk, who later became my teacher, embodied the Buddhist tenets of simplicity, non-grasping and impermanence. I strive to maintain the spirit of celebration of these principles in each Lotus Scope.”
Today, more and more kaleidoscope lovers worldwide are celebrating the results!
Lyn Bouteneff is an integral force in the artisan community. Lyn specializes in spinning, weaving, dyeing, quilting and needlework, as well as making jewelry and natural soaps. At Lotus Scopes, she adds artwork to scope bodies and provides product feedback.