Hydromedusa Lantern

By daniel - Posted on 22 January 2011

A unique lantern inspired by the strange, bioluminescent forms of deep sea creatures.

Every summer, Public Dreams runs the Illuminares lantern festival where visitors light up the park with hundreds of lanterns. Everybody was encouraged to make their own lantern and bring it to the event and some friends were planning to do just that.

After hunting for photos of interesting deep sea creatures I settled on the aptly-named Hydromedusa. The invertebrate's body was a translucent bulb with tentacles reaching out from one end.

It was night time when I excitedly sketched out ideas for how I could actually build the thing. The next morning I hit an art store, an electronics store, and a dollar store to pick up supplies and then worked on the lantern without rest for the entire day.

It took a lot of experimenting to find the right texture and opacity for the paper bulb. Getting the tentacles to stay in place and mounting batteries for the LEDs was also tricky.

At 4:00 AM that night I was finally finished. Sadly, there were thunder showers on the day of the event so it never made it to the park. I have some ideas for the next incarnation, though. Might take a stab at that someday.