Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So I've been steadfastly working on making a GOOD custom, DIY glitter lamp. Hearing people who know what they're talking about on this board say things like "Nobody has ever made an acceptable home-made glitter lamp" was disheartening. :( I thought it was going to be simpler than making a lava lamp, but it's just as complicated. I actually DID get a working lamp made, but it used tiny glitter, and what I'm wanting to use is much bigger.

After seeing that Chinese cylinder lamp that I fell in love with, I realized that I could use bigger glitter cut from mylar, and that it looked awesome in a lamp. I already got the fine glitter lamp working ok, so this new one with custom cut glitter should be a snap, right?


I did actually get very close to neutral buoyancy, but when I turned the lamp on, half of the glitter went to the top, and the other half went to the bottom...they both stayed there. I was using just glycerine and water, but I needed a third thing to grab the glitter and make it flow.

If you're trying this at home...don't use soap...whatever you do. It's a good way to ruin twelve (more) dollars worrth of glycerine. :(

Also, salt is supposed to increase flow, but it also adds to the buoyancy of the glitter, making ALL of it float to the top and stay there.

That lamp (the WaMu one), has glitter that rises to the top when the globe is cold, and sinks to the bottom when it's hot (and turned off). That is a trait of a fast glitter (solvent) lamp, but there are no overpowering odors when you uncap the bottle, and the liquid is not oil-based. In fact I am almost 100% positive that it's mostly water and glycerine...just like I'm using.

So I try to make my own glitter...and after a few costly mistakes, I think I've arrived at the right material to use, and the right thickness. And I buy craploads of punches, to cut the glitter into different shapes. And THEN, the mylar rips and stretches in the punches, rather than cutting. I was just about to give up on the whole thing when I thought to try sandwiching the mylar between 2 sheets of paper. Worked great!

I want to use that glitter SO BAD. :(

Should I be adding something like glycol, or perc? Honestly, I thought those were both thickeners, like glycerine.

I won't give up until I get this working. Can anybody help me get the flow working? I'd really appreciate ANY help anybody can give me!

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Comment by Loren on April 6, 2012 at 11:23pm

I should add "or a gookit". I've been working on those images for the interface thing. Hopefully I'll be able to offer a wide variety of goo/liquid colors! I'm thinking probably about 10-12 goo colors, and probably about 10 liquid colors.

Comment by Loren on April 6, 2012 at 11:19pm

Oh wow...they actually said what was in it? That would be awesome to know...I'll bet it's glycerine and perc, but I'm not sure! Oh, and...until further notice, all glitter lamps will have to be sold with default glitter, but colored liquid and a painted base.

That is...IF I ever get the damn things. :( They sent me an invoice for the whole thing, but they also said that if I didn't pay it all at once, there would be a $300 bank fee. Naturally, I told them I'd pay all at once. THEN they said that there would have to be a slight adjustment in cost due to shipping. Naturally, I didn't pay it until I got a new invoice with a new total. I've been waiting to hear back from them for 2 weeks now. :( I'm honestly a bit scared at this point...I've sent 3 emails which have all gone unanswered. I know that Wed and Thurs were a holiday in China, so maybe that has something to do with it? Anyway, it's getting old. I hope they send me a new (FINAL) invoice soon. If they try to stick me for that bank fee anyway after all this, I'm going to be pissed. I'm way past ready to get this ball rolling!

Comment by Erin on April 1, 2012 at 8:42pm

I've always wondered if that's what Florence Art glitters used. It seems to be thick. But that stuff also had real silver flake in it. I can tell you the M&Ms glitter lamp I had has distilled water and some chemical in it... I'll have to look it up. It was on the box. 

Comment by Loren on April 1, 2012 at 8:20pm

I actually have not tried mineral oil yet...I was trying to see if I could accomplish what I wanted with water first though. because I think that would be safer and cheaper...but I'm open to anything that works!

Comment by Erin on April 1, 2012 at 11:43am

I wish I could help, but I know NOTHING of glitter lamp contents. I LOVE your glitter though! So cool!  Have you tried mineral oil? 


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