This nice paper contains a neat demonstration of the fact that optical caustics, when seen from a wave-optics perspective, contain a bunch of interesting interference terms which can be calculated nicely using the integrals with coalescing saddles of catastrophe theory. Moreover, they showcase this with experiments that have clear optical implementations of those functions, which reportedly look much like this:
I would like to be able to reproduce this sort of behaviour, as a home experiment and as a lecture demonstration, ideally in a configuration that doesn't require anything much fancier than a laser pointer and some household items or office equipment, and ideally in a procedure that is simple, robust, stable, and easily reproducible. It doesn't have to be all that clean ─ it just has to reliably produce images with the Airy fringes and the Pearcey-like behaviour at the tips of the caustics.
What are good ways to do this, or good resources that explain the procedure?