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A Possession Obsession | David Rockwell

A Possession Obsession | David Rockwell

Inspired by the deeper meaning attached to treasured possessions, jewelry designer and portrait photographer Monica Rich Kosann set out to chronicle the stories of such cherished belongings. Spending time with more than sixty-five intriguing personalities, celebrities, and thought leaders resulted in A Possession Obsession: What We Cherish and Why, a stunning photographic collection that transcends materialism and explores the secrets and stories behind beloved personal items.
This reoccurring column is an ongoing passion of Monica's to continue to chronicle people with what they cherish. Each month, a new person will be featured as a glimpse into A Possession Obsession.


How did you come to own your possession?
I've been collecting kaleidoscopes for more than twenty years. I've amassed my collection from a variety of places, and some were given to me as gifts. Kaleidoscopes are an interesting analogy to look at the world. At their core, they take objects that we're familiar with and jumble them to create surprising new ideas. It's kind of like the Busby Berkeley of toys.

How do you live with your heirloom?
I keep many of my kaleidoscopes in my office. They're a great source of inspiration for my work. Rockwell Group is a mashup of some 150 designers from a diversity of disciplines, so my studio is quite kaleidoscopic! Two of my favorites are the Slow Yo-Yo and the Tilt-a-Whirl kaleidoscopes.
The Slow Yo-Yo's body is covered in red leather with a wood trim. As you look into it, you reel a crank that sends colored ribbons up, and the ribbons spin out like a yo-yo to create a kaleidoscopic image.
I recently purchased the Tilt-a-Whirl, a kaleidoscope made from African bubinga wood with a large glass object chamber over seven inches long and three inches wide, filled with silicone breads, dichroic glass, and other objects. The chamber is filled with glycerin so the objects float at different rates and in different directions.
I love the fact that the Slow Yo-Yo and the Tilt-a-Whirl are made by Tom and Carol Paretti, two master woodcrafters that have been creating imaginative, handcrafted kaleidoscopes for years.

Who in your life has most influenced your personal style and taste?
My mother Joanne probably influenced me the most. She ran a community theatre in Deal, New Jersey. Those productions opened my eyes to the power of design to create compelling narratives and emotional connections between people and their environments. They also made me realize that something temporary could have as much impact and power as something permanent.

To read more about David Rockwell and his possession obsession click here!