Light and dark rotating sculpture design preview

For my final project I am planning to create a rotating sculpture that highlights lighting and depth effects. The aesthetics that I am trying to highlight are matte black and a neon LED look. In order to achive my matte black look I am going to use a specialized paint that is supposed to be extremely dark. I am hoping that it will absorb a large amount of light and create an intriguing depth effect while why sculpture is rotating. 

The surface I am going to be painting the black paint on to is a styrofoam bear. I am hoping that the styrofoam will be a good material for the paint to go on to and I am planning to test the paint out before final construction. I chose the bear because I think that it is an interesting shape to look at but also is not too distracting to take away form the desired lighting effects.

In order to incorporate the LED lighting into my project I am going to try to make a lit up cloud that the bear will be sitting on top of. The way that I plan to do this is by placing a set of programable LED strips underneath some stuffing used for pillows and dolls. I am hoping that the stuffing will both diffuse the light in an interesting way as well as make it look like the bear is floating on top of a lit up cloud.

In order to make my project rotate I am planning to use a small DC motor. This is the area that I am still most unclear on for the project. I plan to make it such that the motor will spin the bear, but I still need to identify exactly how I will hold the motor up as well as how I will have it attach to the bear. I have a small wheel that attaches to the end of the motor shaft and I plan to use that to assist in this aspect.

The timeline for constructing the final product will be to first paint the bear. I hope to do several coats of paint over a couple of days. After that I will assembly the bear and motor together such that they can rotate. Finally I will assemble the cloud and lights and place the bear on top. At the end of the construction I hope to have something similar to what I have sketched below.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Natalie Jagelski
    April 5, 2021 10:29 am

    This is a cool project! I like that you’ve put some thought into the exact kind of paint you want to use to best absorb the light as it rotates. The bear is also an interesting choice. In your sketch you show half of the bear being dark while the other half is light – will you only paint one side of the bear black? What will you do with the other side? Have you thought of using any additional colors to paint the bear? Your chosen aesthetic kind of reminds me of a club or electronic concert mixed with a Care Bear. Interested to see the final product!

    • Andrew Thorson
      April 5, 2021 6:07 pm

      I am planning to only paint half of the bear. The thought behind this is that as it is rotating it will contrast the white half of the bear, as well I hope the black half creates a 2D look due to the light absorption.

  • Hunter Meissner
    April 4, 2021 11:49 am

    I like the concept you are aiming for in your artifact. I think dark paint that you’re using for the foam bear will be interesting to see once your artifact is completed. One aspect of your project that I’m interested in seeing how you solve it is by what you decide to do for encasing the DC motor.

    • Andrew Thorson
      April 5, 2021 6:09 pm

      For the motor encasing one thing that I am considering is wedging the motor between 2 blocks and then hiding those underneath the LED cloud so that they cannot be seen.


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