See the line where the sky meets the sea
It calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I'll know
If I go there's just no telling how far I'll go

               - Moana: How Far I'll Go - (Lin Manuel Miranda)

Explore the depths of your own personal ocean. Epoxy resin, alcohol inks, sand, and seashells come together to make a magical luminous ocean experience for your wall or desk. Each piece you create will come out unique, colorful, and beautiful.

Difficulty Level

The electronics assembly is pretty simple - the only soldering you'll need to do is stacking and assembling the Feather and FeatherWing. The LED matrix plugs into the FeatherWing and into the wall using connectors, so doesn't need to be soldered at all.

Epoxy resin is tricky by nature. Temperature, humidity, and dust need to be managed with any resin project. However, as resin projects go, I've found this to be about the easiest one I've ever done -- and also the hardest to mess up. Stray bubbles or dust motes in your resin actually add depth and interest to this particular project - more bubbles make the ocean waves look more realistic! And as you'll see, mixing and pouring all the pretty colors is incredibly satisfying. 

The software and coding requires a little bit of setup if you haven't used CircuitPython before. Once you're set up, you can copy and paste our code and images or dig in and customize with your own artwork.


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If you want an easy on/off switch for your project, I recommend this one - it plugs right inline into your power cord.

1 x Power Switch
In-line power switch for 2.1mm barrel jack

I also used rare earth magnets to fasten the resin panel to the shadow box. 

4 x Magnets
High-strength 'rare earth' magnet

Additional Materials Used

My ocean is 12"x12". If you're making a similar sized ocean you'll need about 2 cups of table top resin or casting resin, alcohol inks and mica powder for color, and a piece of clear acrylic or glass to act as your "canvas".  You'll also need gloves, mixing cups and stirring sticks and various other accessories. I've made an Amazon shopping cart with everything I use when I'm pouring resin.

You'll also need an enclosure for the electronics. I built my own out of spare plastic sheeting I had in my shop, but you could also use a clear plastic tray or a shadow box frame for your project. Just be sure it's at least 2-3 inches deep to give enough space for the electronics and a little extra room for diffusion.

This guide was first published on Aug 12, 2020. It was last updated on Nov 27, 2023.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 06, 2020.

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