Concept Proposal – Tom Vagnini

My main idea for the final project is quite complete, but it still has some potential issues to work out. I’d like to make a glass globe, that has a light in the center of it, with a divider inside such that half of the globe is illuminated, creating a night and day side. Additionally, the globe would spin over the course of the day, and therefore be able to function as a simple clock.

Sketch of the outside of the globe and how it will rotate and tell time

There are a few issues with this. The first one is the project feels less like Light Art and more of an art piece that uses light, so I think it may need more added to it. Something I was considering was running fiber-optic wires through the center so the “cities” would be illuminated more on both the day and night side. I think utilizing the fiber-optic cables could really enhance the art piece, but using the fiber-optic cables is dependent on another constraint and idea. The other difficulty I thought of is sourcing the glass might be difficult. I hope to make the piece 9-12″ in diameter which would require up to 450 square inches of usable glass, and more scrap. For that reason, I’d like to use glass bottles, jars, and containers to source the glass, but those only come in a small variety of colors and sizes. It would be pretty easy to find enough glass in clear or brown, but it’s not particularly easy to find a lot of green glass, and especially not blue glass. I have a few solutions to that problem. The first, would be to make the whole thing out of clear glass, and then paint the inside. I’ve never painted glass, so I’m not sure if I could do this without it looking sloppy. The other option I was considering was making a globe entirely out of brown glass. It could represent a life-less Earth, which I think could have a powerful message especially since it would be made of recycling. However, this means I wouldn’t be able to use the fiber-optic cables in the piece.

Regardless of how I decide to solve the problem, I think this would be a sufficiently challenging piece. I’ve worked with stained glass in the past, including 2 3d sculptures, so I have access to a number of the tools and techniques. It would still be complicated though since I’d be taking recycling of various shapes and sizes and trying to make it into a sphere. Luckily the mechanical and electronics systems would be fairly straightforward, I could use a rod feeding into the top with wires, and use a bearing for the globe to freely spin around the rod. I could use a small Arduino and stepper motor to rotate the globe.

Internal Mechanism Sketch

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