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.
I’ve given Carl Boro a lot of credit on this site, and no wonder. If anyone knows about building sparkleballs, it’s Carl. Probably his very best tip is the 1/2″ step drill bit. Carl uses the bit in a drill press. (video here) I use mine in a hand drill. The bit costs about $14, but it makes absolutely perfect holes. Lights slip in, and they stay put. You can drill up to 4 soft cups at a time. And I’ve stuffed as many as 4 lights in a single hole, although 2-3 works best.
A regular 1/2″ drill bit works just fine if it’s sharp enough. Use a knife and cut x’s in the cup bottoms. Or a soldering iron to melt holes. Any hole is better than no hole! So just do it. . .like the man in Canada who put holes in his cups with a screwdriver he heated up on the stove top :) A sparkleball is very forgiving.