Since I was a child I was fascinated by fluorescence, phosphorescence and bioluminescence. Seing the movie Avatar was the cherry on top that motivated me to make some of my own decorations.
Some time ago I discovered what UV painting is and decided to try it out. A few Artists I found also tried to merge daylight painting with UV painting. Meaning that by day you see a normal painting, and if the room goes dark, and uv light is on, the painting looks just like a scene from Avatar by night, glowing, shining, … and suddenly I wanted to make this a hobby of my own.
It all started with me browsing through Instructables and finding a lot of great ideas. I came across the CapSense Arduino library and a great instructable, and just had to try it out. The idea behind is you create a proximity sensor using just aluminum foil, an Arduino and a 10 megaohms resistor. It is very easy to put the peices together even for an electronics beginner as myself. I got it started and a LED was blinking based on the proximity of my hand. As soon as my kids saw this, it was not my project any more, and I had to stand behing letting them play with it. I got them to back off only by promising them a magic orb based on this … 😉