Thursday, December 15, 2011

Firefly Jars

One thing that I miss about the summer months is seeming fireflies light up the early evening hours.  Tiny beacons against the darkening night sky that make you want to smile.  So when I came across a tutorial on how to make firefly jars, I was hooked.  I gathered up some old glad jars (the one on the left used to hold pickles and the one on the right was originally contained tomato sauce, yum), a paint brush and a few bottles of different colored glow-in-the-dark paint.  In a few minutes I was able to whip up my own illuminated bottles.  I was expecting the paint to really glow when I turned out the lights (based on the pic in the tutorial), but I was disappointed that the dots I painted were almost invisible in the dark.  After that I abandoned firefly jar project, and just used them to hold random stuff around my house. 

So pretty!
But two months later I was hunting through the clearance Halloween goodies and discovered a miniature black light.  Once back home I began investigating the new and exciting world of UV radiation and what should I happen to notice, but the firefly jars!!!  Apparently, the UV wavelength caused the pigment in the glow in the dark paint to illuminate.  So there you have it, firefly jar awesomeness.  :)

My mission to add a little firefly cheer to the winter continues with another design project I have started.  Here is a rough sketch of some fireflies. 

I think a series of lanterns filled with illuminated insects would be fun.  If I make it as a stencil then I could even use the glow-in-the-dark paint to add a second dimension that would only be visible with the black light.  Maybe even a secret coded glowing firefly message. 

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