Only the U.S. has Solo plastic cups, so the rest of the world has to work with other shapes and sizes. It takes a lot more non-solo cups to form a sphere, even when you’re building with smaller cups. It’s also harder to get these “any cup” balls nice and round. Our Any Cup How-to shows one way to do it. But you can find some pretty cool sparkle ball videos on youtube from other countries. I highly recommend the video below by Italian Walter Calabrese. I tried his method. and it works really well. (See result here.) When I finally make a styrofoam “bubble lamp,” this is the method I’ll use except with hotglue.
note: blue and white sparkleball above by Walter Calabrese.
For a “stained glass” sparkleball, you’ll need materials for the Original Sparkleball plus some permanent color markers. (I like Sharpies.) Next, find an artist. Mine was 11 year old Adella, who was willing to color 50 plastic cups with the markers and with a little help from cousin Anna, brother and sister Russell and Gigi. The results are stunning. Alone, each cup is a little work of art. A starry night, ocean wave, flowers, funny faces. Put together, the cups become like stained glass with colors as vivid in sunlight as they are lit up at night. It’s a stunning sparkleball and memorable keepsake.
Designer Nargiza Usmanova made the shortlist of the prestigious 2016 DARC lighting design awards with her haunting installation, “12.” She hand-wove the light balls out of colored wire, 6000 zipties, and LED lights from GVA Lighting, her design partner. Originally created for a Moscow Biennale, the installation was reimagined in the Limehouse Conservation Area, Ontario, Canada by Nargiza with help from NUMZ Graphics, Victor Zubashev, and photographer Maxim Zinchuck.
The “Hangover Lamp” by designer Luis Luna is one of the most popular photographs on sparkleball.com. It’s just got this incredible wow factor. For one thing, it’s red. Two, it’s made of cups everybody recognizes, but they’re arranged in a surprising way. And when you look at the photo and try to figure out how to copy it, it’s harder than it looks. (One of these days, I mean to try.) In an interview, Mr Luna says he woke up one morning with a hangover and saw all these red cups left from the party. So he gets up and makes a cool light fixture. Now that’s an artist:)
Read more about the “Hangover Lamp” and see other designs by Luis Luna here, here, and here.