Sunday, April 11, 2010

Barrel puzzle, now functional and tinted

In a previous post I got the barrel puzzle working by dipping it in welding solvent. But it isn't really a puzzle unless there's some way to distinguish the parts. Ordinarily I would cut and apply vinyl stickers.

But some colleagues admired the semi-transparent appearance, which would be hidden if I applied stickers over the surfaces. I experimented with several alternatives before getting an inspiration today.

I dusted the parts with Jacquard Pearl-Ex pigment, choosing "interference" colors that aren't visible unless light reflects off the surface at just the right angle. Then I misted the surface with Weld-On 2007 to embed the pigment permanently into the PVC. The puzzle in all these pictures has been tinted, but the colors were hidden in the pictures above. Below, the color is revealed when the light is just right.

Now it's possible to mix up the colors, creating a challenge to get them back to their original positions. (Like a Rubik's Cube, but simpler.)

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