The fairyland I believed in as a kid may not be objectively real, but when imagination, technology and a few button clicks on the internet gives you the tools to create your own glowing wings, who says you have to stop believing in magic?
When Natalina created her amazing fiber optic dress last spring, she opened up a whole new world of wearable lighting magic and costume possibilities. Since then, some of us who love making ourselves glow have been playing with different ways to use fiber optics on clothing and costumes. For this latest experiment I applied the idea to some relatively simple fairy wings, hoping to create a sparkling enchanting fiber optic costume piece fit for a real fairy. To power my wings I made an easy lighting module with leds, a battery and a microcontroller that allows me to program the color of the fibers, or give them different patterns or fades.
Fiber optics are an amazing way to create illumination in costumes because you only need a single light source to add glow to a whole costume. This also makes them a lot more durable and less likely to have electronic issues than some other forms of illumination. These wings are actually quite light, sturdy and wearable... which makes it easy to flit through the forest on fairy related business.
The line between science an sorcery is really just a matter of perception and understanding... so from my perspective, being a maker really does give you supernatural powers ;) For anyone who ever wanted to grow up to be a magical fairy princess, this project is for you. Clap your hands if you believe... then go use them to make some magic.
*fantastic fairy photos by audreyobscura