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  • Writer's pictureMichael Horn

Winter Crown

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Michael created this technical effect prop for the St. Petersburg City Theatre for their production of “A Christmas Carol”, the crown for the ghost of Christmas Present.   Two of this crown were made, one as a backup in case the first one had any technical issues or needed new batteries at an inconvenient time.

The crowns have animated fibers, trimmed so that light appears to emanate from the head of the wearer outward and upward, while a chain of hand-soldered mini WS2811 LEDs on thin enameled wire slowly pulses random warm white lights and flickers an occasional red or green flash.

On a base made from wire wrapped with floral tape, bundles of optical fibers are attached to groups of 4 high-brightness white LEDs, driven by supporting circuitry that can gradually raise and lower the brightness of each.  The fibers are bundled so that there are 4 “sprays” made up of fibers flowing from each of the 4 LEDs, each spray is trimmed to show the emanation affect at different locations as the 4 LEDs are cycled.  There are 3 such branches on each crown.  On top of the light-base and circuitry, pieces trimmed from Christmas floral garlands have been arranged to create a wreathlike appearance that creates pleasing silhouettes against the light show.

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