So my project has take quite the turn in the past week due to the results of experimenting with electromagnets and the ferrofluid. The electromagnet I designed (below) does not create a nearly strong enough magnetic field unless a minimum of 60 volts is run through it. Even then the magnetic field is so weak due to the diameter of the steel ring.
Thankfully I have started designing and purchasing items for my new plan, a rotating magnetic turntable. Essentially the ferrofluid is still sitting in the top channel of the glass encasing, but now underneath is a 10″ diameter turn table that will have a series of neodymium magnets arranged in a design embedded in it. The turn table will be powered by a mini high torque electric motor rotating the whole assembly at 2 revs/minute. I am still playing around with the designs I will arrange the magnets in, but I think this is going to turn out quite swell. Next week I will have a thorough updated post with pictures to illustrate this new design.