How To Make A Clear Pyramid with a Glow-in-the-dark Base Encasing A Tiny Bottle With Dry Glow Powder In It

Materials

  1. Pyramid mold– stainless steel Available in sets of three from Amazon and are intended as food molds. Many chefs will have these. As will restaurants, etc. This is where I got mine: Ateco 4936 Stainless Steel Medium Pyramid Mold, Set of 2, 3.5 by 2.5-Inches High (You can also order the medium and small sizes from this page.)
  2. Epoxy Resin – I use this: Environmental Tech Envirotex Pour-on High Gloss Finish 1/2 Gallon Kit and if I want something that’s totally glass clear, but can stand the fact that it will be more fragile, I will use this: Environmental Technology 16-Ounce Kit Casting’ Craft Casting Epoxy, Clear
  3. Glow powder – Your choice of colors from Glow, Inc. (glow powder page). You will need at least two colors of glow powder. (Note that this works great with glow sand, as well!) At least one small packet of each. Use more for brighter results!
  4. Small glass bottles – 
  5. Vacuum degasser (optional) – For professional results you need to get rid of all the bubbles that occur when you mix the two parts of the epoxy together. The way you do this is to use a vacuum. A degasser is designed such that you can’t see through the top of it. This is for two main reasons. 1) you can see when bubble stop forming (or in practice when they have mostly stopped, or after a given time if specified by the resin manufacturer.

Note: rather than telling you to use the degasser each time I will just say, “mix the resin” or something similar. if you have the degasser, I recommend that you degas  before you add the glow powder. And always degas. (If you can. Otherwise ignore. You can get some fairly decent results by using a heat gun or hairdryer and blowing it on the resin. You have to be very careful when doing this though! That works better on thin layers of resin.)

Procedure

  1. Mix a batch of resin according to manufacturer’s instructions. Do not add any glow powder. Pour a small amount into the top so that it is well less than one quarter of the way full.
    This is the clear space at the top of the pyramid. So you don’t want it very be. In other words, the level of this will be how far from the top of the pyramid the top of the bottle (or cork, really) is positioned.
    Let this resin cure until it’s plenty hard enough to support the bottle. (If you’re not sure, just let it cure all the way.)
  2. Prepare your bottle by pouring the glow powder, sand (or whatever you want) into the bottle. I recommend using a complementary color to the one you will use in the base of the pyramid.
    I recommend filling the bottle 3/4 of the way full, or so. (See “Fun Stuff!” below.)
    TIP: A glass funnel works great if you have one that small. Alternatively, just make a funnel out of a piece of paper. If you use this method I would recommend making a new funnel for each color.
    Make sure the cork is tightly seated (but don’t break it).
  3. Place the bottle upside down in the mold. The top of the cork will sit on what is now the top of the layer of resin that you poured in step one.
  4. Mix another batch of resin that is totally clear. You want enough to pour into the pyramid until it is as close to the level of the bottom of the bottle as possible. If you pour until resin is above the bottle, then the bottle will appear to float above the glowing layer. Nothing wrong with doing that, but I like to make them where they look like sitting on something inside the pyramid.
    Let this layer of resin cure enough until it is at least somewhat firm on the surface. It only needs to support another layer of resin. (Actually as I’m writing this, I think that you might get some very interesting results if you do not let this layer cure. But then you may risk obscuring the bottle, so try this at your own risk. If you do I would certainly be interested in seeing your results!)
  5. Finally, mix the resin and add your other color of glow powder. This will be the base of the pyramid. Pour into the mold and let the resin cure.
  6. Optionally, only fill the mold part way in step five. Let that cure and then mix another batch with a different color of glow powder. Repeat as many times as you’d like to get a striped base of the pyramid.

Options

  • In the picture (and video) at the top of this post I actually use some glow sand and mixed it very, very thick. So thick that the resin wouldn’t actually pour. It was more like a thick grout. I had to sort of spoon it into the mold. I did not wait for that to cure and I poured a little bit of glow powder around the edges and then I mixed a batch of resin with some red glow powder and poured that on top of the sand/powder. It sort of seeped into it around the edges. (I expect this is one of those happy accidents that I will never be able to reproduce quite exactly! Certainly each one of these is a one-of-a-kind.)
  • You could easily mix a very, very small amount of glow powder into the first two resin pours. I wouldn’t want much because I don’t want to hide the bottle.

Fun Stuff!

After this is finished you can slowly turn the pyramid upside down and you will see the powder inside the bottle move around!

I do have at least one left in my shop at the time of this writing. I call these, “Pyramid of Bottled Light”, so you can search for that in my shop. Here’s a link to one I currently have Pyramid of Bottled Light IV. As you can see, I put a rather high price on these, mostly because of the time required. Also because everyone seems to like these.

If you love glow-in-the-dark, I’d love to hear from you! (I don’t care if you’re interested in buying my products or not.) I’ve loved glow-in-the-dark since I was very small. But thanks to Glow Inc., we now have much higher quality glow than we use to!

If you make one of these, I would certainly like to see it! If you can post a picture or video online, please feel free to post a link in the comments below. You can use your WordPress account, or you can sign up on this site which you can do here (and you’ll also receive email notice of special discount offers and sales).

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Glow-in-the-dark Mushrooms!

Phosphorescent Mushroom!

In my first collaboration as The Glow-In-The-Dark Man I worked with PJ Kempen, who did this fantastic sculpt of a mushroom. I made a mold of it and this is my first casting. (*Updated with photos of second mushroom below.) Of course first castings at my place must always be glow-in-the-dark! 😎 (If I have any say in it! 😁😇)

Size is 2.75″ (8 cm) W x 2.25″ (6 cm) H. Made with Glow, Inc.’s glow powders “Pure Blue” (my personal favorite glowing color!) and “White”, which was manually applied to the “dots” on top of the mushroom before pouring the resin. I wasn’t sure if that would be enough of the white powder, but I think it came out nice.

I confirmed this was still glowing after a full night in darkness! Not much, but definitely rated “still visible after 12+ hours”!😎 That would qualify it for my shop. But I may keep the first one. (If you’d like to buy one of these, please let me know, or just stay tuned! I’ll update this article with a link to my Etsy shop as soon as I list one of these.)

This was a “full mold”, meaning that I cast the entire object in silicone and then cut the silicone to the edge of the mushroom cap. The trick was knowing where it was located within the silicone. To accomplish all of this I did three things:

  1. I painted the edge of the cap on the original sculpture with glow-in-the-dark paint. I used the high quality V10 solvent based paint. Too much paint would distort the original sculpture and the solvent based generally requires less buildup.
  2. I used Dragon Skin silicone because it is somewhat translucent. Enough so that it allowed me to shine a UV light on the resulting block of silicone and determine (generally) where the edge of the sculpture was located. The only trouble was that I cut a little too far on the underneath in one spot, which results in an “extra veil”, of sorts, on the final mushroom. (This can be peeled off, and isn’t even noticeable except under the the closest scrutiny.)
  3. In order to suspend the mushroom and create a “funnel” to pour the resin into, I added a small amount of clay around the base of the mushrooms, on the sides. I blended with the veins on the existing sculpture to make this “transparent”. I did this to maintain the indent on the bottom of the mushroom to house a magnet. (Unfortunately, I did not photograph this stage. In retrospect I should have because it was destroyed when I removed the original from the mold.)

This all worked out quite well, I think. One benefit of being a full mold is that it has a recess in the bottom to receive a small magnet, which we’ll simply glue in place. That means this mushroom should be pretty solid on any ferrous metal.

Another benefit is that it stands on its own the same as the original sculpture. Notice that he intentionally made one side lower than the other so it would appear more organic. There are many other asymmetries that I’m sure you can see.

A note about photo quality: unfortunately I broke the remote for my DSLR and that makes it almost impossible to take pictures of this in the dark. By using my iPad, I was able to get these. I do intend to remedy this situation very soon. I think better photos will be in order at that time. Please stay tuned. (Subscribe to this post if you’d like and I’ll update it for you.)

Please read all captions. All photos are of glow-in-the-dark mushroom made of resin, glowing blue and white.
I didn’t get the veils on the underneath of the cap. But it shows up and is pretty amazing! Great sculpt, PJ!
3/4 view That’s not a “shadow” underneath. It’s a part of the design on the box it’s sitting on. Just a happy accident! 😇
Top view. Slightly out of focus, but the iPad did pretty good considering that I was working darkness.

Update 2017.07.23 – Amanita Muscaria colors

First two mushrooms in white light. You can see more “bubbles” in the one on the left. I was overzealous with the glow powder and that actually caused the pitting.
First two mushrooms in total darkness.

Here are side views of the first two. I think I like this view the best!

Yes, it really looks that “white” in person. Pretty awesome stuff, those Glow, Inc. glow powders!

P.S. “Phosphorescent Mushroom” would be a good name for a band, wouldn’t it?!? 😃

Update 2017.07.27:

Those both have a decent glow. In fact, I’d classify the white one as very bright. (I’ve been thinking of making a “glow rating scale” of my own. More on that soon!)

So, how could I make something brighter? Well, Glow, Inc’s Green V10 in crazy quantities will produce a crazy glow-in-the-dark. In fact, if you charge it, you’ll have a glow-in-the-LIGHT! Check this out:

3 glowing mushrooms with the lights on, but they still are distinctly glowing.
This is with my shop lights on, not 1 meter from this setup. So that’s the very bright light. But you can see that in the “shadow”, the mushrooms are definitely glowing. It’s more obvious on the blue one and especially on the green one which actually has the brightest glow in the industry!

And a couple of the same thing in total darkness. Note the green mushroom still has some “veil” that will be trimmed. I like a clean silhouette. 😉

3 mushrooms glowing brightly: a white with red on top, similar to Amanita Muscaria (fly agaric); a extra-bright green; and a very bright blue with greenish-white spots on top
You can see that the green is glowing much brighter, as the specs for the glow powders would indicate. Notice that all three mushrooms cast enough light to light the shoe box lid standing behind them. It’s a gray color, but here you can see definite green and blue with possibly a little “white” on the lower left.
The same scene with a black object placed between the white and green mushrooms to show how much light they put out.. You can easily read by one of these! And the green one should glow for 24 hours! (I need to test that.) Here you can also see the blue spots on top of the green mushroom. That’s because I sprinkled Ultra Blue glow sand in the cap before pouring the mushroom. I used so much green powder that the individual grains get lost and they just contribute a bluish hue to the surrounding resin. 
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Glow Workbench

My painting/casting/glow workbench area under blacklight. I can actually see things quite nicely. (It’s a big 40″ commercial blacklight from Glow, Inc. website /  Glow Inc. on Facebook, as are the glow materials.)

Glow peace sign hangs on light switch for shop light.

Questions? 😎

(Caption is sufficient.)
My workbench illuminated by blacklight. This is where I create all of my glow-in-the-dark sculpture and painting.
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Leftover Glow

We need some posts (and tags for the cloud) to get this site rolling with. So let’s go!

Shot with the normal room light on. A glowing “light bulb” I recently made (it’s already sold!) and cabochons I made with the “leftover-glow”.

I had to mix resin and green glow powder to make this light bulb. I always want to have a little more than I need, as opposed to not mixing enough. (Been there, done that! 😇)

Since I usually have “leftover-glow”, I just got a cheap mold to make some cabochons with. It works great! Check this out in total darkness. 😎

The same shot in total darkness.

The same shot in total darkness.

I will update with a link to the mold for the cabochons, so stay tuned!

Here’s a link to the mold used to make the above (except lightbulb! That’s a custom mold):

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