Experimenting with UV mediums: An illuminated night sky picture

Introduction

I’ve been wanting to create an illuminated picture for a while now, but I didn’t want to do the usual trick of running a fairy light under a board. I wanted something three dimensional and interesting at its very core; I always wanted to make it 3D, as I think that items which combine 3D and 2D are unnerving in a very interesting way. I decided in the end to use UV reactive mediums. I was originally going to go with something much more elaborate, using invisible paints that fluoresce to give an effect of transitioning from a night sky to daytime; it was found to be too complicated, so I put it aside for a future project. I came up with this in the end:

The UV light from the LED strip appears to have washed out the top half of the image. This doesn’t happen when viewing with the naked eye and probably only arises because the CCD in the camera can detect near-UV.

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Belated Birthday Blunder: A straw hut for my dad

I’m not particularly proud of this one (not because it’s tacky, although it is), since this comes as the result of missing my dads birthday. I wanted to get him a really special gift so I decided to make him a model with what (at the time) little model building experience I had.

I made the hut using half a plastic Easter egg covered in coconut strands. I made the camp fire out of charred pieces of twig with shiny red and gold foil inside (I realize now that I should have done the red at the bottom and the gold at the top). The tree trunk and branches was made from coiled wire covered in paper, covered in latex that had been roughed up with a wire brush.The canopy was made from several fluffed up layers of scouring pads, covered in yellow foam powder. The grass was made using a static flock applicator with longer strands inserted manually (their tips were glued and dipped into brown foam powder). The ground was made from wet-painted SculptaMold then sprinkled with the dust from coconut husks to give the effect of fallen leaves. Finally the spade was made from a matchstick and lollipop stick painted brown and grey respectively, the edges of the head dry-brushed with terracotta paint giving a rusted effect.

Suffice to say I never forgot my dads birthday again. Happy Birthday Papa 🙂 ?