Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

MAD MOD BLOG 001 - WTH am I doing?

I threatened to do it...and here it is. :p

Anyway, this will be a repository of things related to my ongoing modding efforts, and maybe I'll be able to update it as I go. I guess I'll go ahead and repost this:

I ordered 100 lamps to mod, and that's what they will look like...only they will be plain, silver aluminum when they arrive, with smaller silver glitter in them. I didn't do any non-metallic bases in that, or colored liquids. I want to have a web interface where people can pick colors for the base/cap, glitter, and liquid, and be able to see their lamp develop as they go. At any point, the user can select "Have this lamp built for $50 (or whatever)", at which point an order form is created, and sent to my email. I also want people to be able to register, so that they can save their creations, or at least have a composite jpg emailed to them.

I'm currently a long way from that at this point. However, several breakthroughs have been made.

I found one of these lamps for sale on ebay, and I was able to determine that they had very thin mylar glitter in them, and today I figured out that the globes are mostly water and glycerine! There's most likely something else in there too, but I think I'm definitely on the right track with the water/glycerine and mylar route. The third ingredient is likely perc, or glycol.

I also figured out that I'll likely need a thinner mylar than the wrapping thickness. I bought some cheap birthday hats and decorations at the dollar store today to experiment with, and they were made with 2 thicknesses. The thicker one was more like typing paper, the thinner one was almost tissue paper thickness. I cut some glitter from both, and put some in some 50/50 glycerine/water. The thicker stuff was really easy to punch, and the resulting punches looked great! Only problem...they sank like rocks. :-/ I went with the thinner stuff, and once I did, I realized that THAT was what the glitter in these lamps was made of...not the thicker stuff. I said otherwise earlier, but I was wrong.

For people wanting to cut their own glitter from this material, here's a hint; Take a strip of paper about 2 inches wide, and fold it in half. Then take about a 1-inch strip of the mylar, and sandwich it in the folded paper. NOW punch it. ;-) Now it won't stretch and rip when you try to punch it, and so you can now make perfect punches. :) I was SO relieved when I thought of that one...that was almost a game-breaker.

One small hiccup though...

I cut some of this thin mylar, using the above method, and put some in with the regular glitter that came with this second kenart lamp...I just put it right in the bottle. It all floated to the top, and stayed there. :( That's not good. Maybe there are different "formulas" with different ratios of water:glycerine made for glitters of different sizes? I will have to get some more glycerine tomorrow to continue my tests, but I was REALLY hoping that I could just replace the default, silver glitter with my custom mylar glitter. I still may be able to, but it will require a re-working of the liquid a little bit, it looks like.

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