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Opera glasses

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Mother-of-pearl opera glasses/binoculars are one of the flagship objects on display in our museum.
Formerly, the tablet-makers specialized in the manufacture of these beautiful objects could be called "jumeliers" (from french word jumelles meaning binoculars).

First of all, tell yourself that there is no rush, the more time you take, the more satisfied you will be with your creation. At the moment we have time for ourselves, take advantage of it and embark on this learning. The longest step is, like in cooking, the preparation. Gather everything you need, then organize your workspace, and get comfortable.
To create your binoculars, you need:
- 2 rolls of toilet paper (for the small model) or paper towels (for the large model)
- 1 other roll of toilet paper or soft cardboard (box of tissues, cereal box, etc.)
- 1 piece of string, ribbon or wool (60 centimeters)
- 1 pencil (optional, to mark marks)
- 1 rule
- Colored paper (scraps of gift wrap, wrapping paper, magazines, newsprint)
- Markers or paint and brush
- Double-sided glue or tape

Choose between the wrapped roll technique and the painted roll technique:
- If you paint the rolls, let the paint dry well before touching them
- Otherwise, cover the two rolls with paper that you cut a little wider so that you can fold it inside, on either side of the rolls. Do not put too much glue, a few lines and dots on the roll are enough.

You will realize the adjustment system with the additional roll or a piece of cardboard. Flatten the roll and fold it back lengthwise. Cut it in half crosswise and cut one of the resulting two rings to make a strip of about 4cm x 14cm. Mark the folds so that you have a bridge like a capital A with flat feet. Decorate this object with felt, paint or colored paper that you will stick on it.

Once everything is dry, you can move on to assembly: put your little bridge in front of you and put glue (or double sided) on the top of its feet. For a good gluing, take your time and take care of one roll at a time, place it on one of the glued feet by pressing for a few seconds, then repeat the operation making sure that the two rollers are parallel and centered.
For the decoration of your binoculars, indulge yourself, you’re making a unique model in the world! If you choose the mosaic-style cut paper technique, pre-cut strips. This technique is faithful to that of the tablet maker who cut mother-of-pearl plates that they juxtaposed to perfectly fit the shape of the binoculars. You can prefer the technique of painting or even felt, it's up to you.

When you are done decorating your binoculars, all you have to do is attach the string. With a ruler, check the length of your string or ribbon (about 60cm). Put a little glue or double-sided tape on each end (over 2cm) and attach this string to the outer edges of the binoculars. Cut two strips of paper (4cm x 17cm each), glue them and then cover the string on each roll.

Your apprenticeship is over. Congratulations, you have obtained your jumelier diploma!