Alien Dark Matter Egg

Reflective purple sphere made up of many flat, faceted sides. It is atop a metal cylinder with a background of wood chips.

Primary materials: Aluminum foil, wood putty, acrylic paint.

A few factors came together to prompt this project: I know someone who’s very into aliens, so I was thinking about that theme; I had been working on other eggs, and wanted to make a variant design; and I wanted to test out some new materials and techniques, and see how they work.

I began by making a compressed ball of aluminum foil and then covered it in wood putty. It took a couple of applications—because of its consistency, the putty was harder to apply than I expected. I don’t think this stuff was designed to be a sculpting medium. Imagine sculpting with room-temperature peanut butter.

On the other hand, it cured and dried really fast, which I greatly appreciated given how many of my projects take a long time to dry.

Purple sphere placed in vertically torn wood. It almost looks like it's floating.
You can see how a different background changes the apparent color of the egg. I thought this torn tree stump looked interesting, like alien sand towers. The splinters of wood pointing upward also supported the egg nicely.

Close up of purple sphere placed in vertically torn wood.

When I had a hardened putty ball, I sanded flat plains onto it, then painted it black. After that, I lightly brushed it with silver, and covered the whole thing with lilac pearl interference paint. This paint changes color and opacity depending on the angle of view and color of the substrate.

I sprayed it with two layers of glossy clear-coat and then rubbed it with specialty English wax. I did this both to give it some extra shine, and to lessen the chance that its paint will stick to whatever surface it’s resting on and get pulled off.

This turned out to be a really quick project. The materials dried fast; it’s small (about 1.5 inches across); and perhaps most importantly, there was no mission creep or do-overs. It was fun to make.