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Picture of Fruitcake: a Translucent Terrazzo Floor Light

Terrazzo is a beautiful and resilient composite material made of crushed aggregate such as glass, quartz or other stone, contained within a pourable binding agent, like concrete or other polymer, polished to a smooth surface finish and often used for flooring or walls.

For the designer in me (and so many others), the material is endlessly inspiring, and it's a fun design exercise to consider how to use the material in new and different applications. Through some experiments with crushed glass terrazzo aggregate samples given to me by a friend, and 2-part pourable resin plastic, I stumbled upon a luminous result: Fruitcake, a translucent terrazzo floor light!

For this Instructable, I'm going to walk you through some of my learnings (AKA, mistakes) in working with terrazzo and pourable plastics, and guide you through the process of creating your own Fruitcake.

Step 1: Assemble the Ingredients

Picture of Assemble the Ingredients

You'll need to assemble the following tools and materials to create your own Fruitcake floor light. I've split the ingredients into three parts:

Molded light shade (the Fruitcake itself):

  • Another set of hands for the mold pouring process
  • Respirator and rubber gloves (for you and your helping hands)
  • IKEA 14" Blanda Blank metal salad bowl
  • IKEA 11" Blanda Blank metal salad bowl
  • Smooth-on 300 Series 2-Part Liquid Plastic (2 sets of the 16oz size)
  • Paint mixing bucket to prepare the 2-part plastic resin
  • Wooden stir stick
  • ~20 cups or equivalent volume of tumbled sea glass or other translucent light-emitting aggregate
  • Mold release spray
  • Drop cloth for any spillage
  • Stack of 12x12" boards or other ~10-20 pound weights (these will hold down the mold during the curing process)
  • Utility knife to trim off any flashing (leftover unwanted plastic remnants from the mold process)

Wooden Dowel Legs:

  • 1/4" round wooden dowel (10" or less total length needed)
  • Hand saw
  • Power drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • 5-minute epoxy
  • 100 and/or 220 grit sandpaper

Light fixture:

  • LED lightbulb 40W or whatever bulb desired
  • Porcelain lamp holder light socket with screw terminals
  • Power cord with stomp switch (though stomp switch can also be purchased separately and spliced onto the wire during this project).
  • Wire snips / wire strippers
MarlenaM1 year ago

I love this. It's really neat. Thank you for sharing.

That would make some pretty awesome lighting effects.