This Modern Ship in a Bottle Is Lit with LEDs and Fiber Optics

Craft & Design
This Modern Ship in a Bottle Is Lit with LEDs and Fiber Optics
Photography by David Lavoie

Building a ship in a bottle is typically accomplished via one of two methods — building the ship outside with hinged masts that are raised using strings once inside the bottle, or the more difficult and time-consuming method of using long-handled tools to build it directly inside.

David Lavoie, who is self-taught, uses a combination of both methods for his illuminated vessels. “I carve and build the ship outside the bottle, then I disassemble it and rebuild it piece by piece inside the bottle,” he says. “The fiber optics, which are bundled at the end of the mast and go through the deck do not allow enough clearance to fully collapse the masts. I’ve been building my ships piece by piece within the bottle.”

The fiber optic light also causes diffuse reflection and scattering, which can transmit in random directions, especially when the fiber is bent or angled. The finished build takes on an eerie, glowing brilliance thanks to the lights and simulated rough seas.

ship in a bottle 3

ship in a bottle 2

ship in a bottle

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team

View more articles by Cabe Atwell


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.