My father tells me a story of his father, an avid backyard astronomer, spending years planning and constructing his own telescope. My grandfather rarely spoke to him about the details, and did not involve him in the project, but my father remembers him spending months of evening and weekend hours in the basement of their home, perfecting the glass reflecting lens, the main component of the telescope. It was embedded in tar on a barrel top, and he would circle round and round with a secondary piece of glass and compound to grind and polish it evenly, taking measurements until it was just right. He then sent the lens away to be silvered, and upon its return, set up the telescope in the backyard. My father tells me that he remembers seeing the craters of the moon for the first time in this lens, and the realization of that image has remained embedded in his mind. To my grandfather's disappointment, he discovered that the lens was off by .0000001mm (or some such number). He planned to regrind the lens to perfection, but passed away before he could do so.
My father gave me this lens when I started my training in the field of glass, and began learning how to polish glass with more efficient tools. I never met my grandfather, but his fascination of the heavens has been passed down to me through my father's interest. There are traces of polishing compound on the sides of the lens, and the silver facing has faded in parts. I have his original notes and sketches of the telescope, and they are covered in his fingerprints of polishing compound.
In this video, I have set up my grandfather’s telescope lens to capture the path of the sun. It was also an attempt on my part to capture the sun's light in order to recreate it. The reflected image of the sun and the path that it travels is captured in real time, but the intensity of the light causes the camera to glitch is such a way that the sun’s light it transformed into blackness. Time seems to move slowly in the video, yet it contains fleeting moments of beauty and uncertainty, the image is as imperfect as memory itself.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?