In order to undertake a ceiling installation that takes inspiration from arguably the most popular film franchise in history, one must get in the proper spirit of the project. Just as the theme of hope runs rampant in the Star Wars movie saga, it was our own hope of achieving a convincing result that drove us during this meticulous albeit fun process. Our clients’ requested a room tailored to their young Star Wars fan, and so we conjured a star field ceiling in coordination with the design of the overall bedroom.
Our initial steps for the installation involved identifying the materials of the backdrop for the star field as well as the stars themselves. We started with a sea of optical fibers or fiber optic “fibers” (that’s how the Department of the Redundancy Department refers to them) to represent the stars.
After debating heavy materials and cans of paint, we settled on a lighter touch. The black backdrop of “space” is made of two ¾” thick Gator Boards custom cut and carefully placed side by side.
We proceeded to divide up the boards into 28 panels each, in order to properly spread the optical fibers. Using a silver Sharpie, we clustered the stars to provide a more authentic-looking night sky – gravity does exist in space after all.
Once the star locations were marked, we proceeded to drill a tiny hole in each mark to accommodate the fibers. In total there were close to 280 optical fibers (or “stars” – though some are probably actually planets in truth) that we had to individually feed through the boards. That takes some patience. Once we had all fibers in place, the assembly was ready to be hung.
We need to take care to ensure the cables were not tangled and that the thicker and thinner fibers were spaced naturally. We also had to be extremely careful during installation as Gator Board, while rigid, is still easily damaged. The boards needed to be drilled onto wood members in order to allow space for the sea of optic cables to run to and from their source.
Once the boards were in place, the fiber optic cables were then trimmed flush with the boards.
The final step of the installation came with the addition of the custom designed and CNC milled white frame that completed the appearance of looking out the window of a Star Wars spacecraft.
It was our hope that the ceiling installation would tie together the Star Wars theme of the bedroom and transport the young Jedi out of this world. Happy to report that he was indeed thrilled!
Hopefully this digest of our process is helpful if you’re looking to undertake such an effort – and if so, May The Fourth Be With You!