As it’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday I thought I’d share 12 Months of Neon Love project by Richard William Wheater and Victoria Lucas of Neon Workshops. These bold statements and declarations of love were featured over a 12 month period back in 2012, starting on Valentine’s Day. What a lovely way to spread the love.
Happy weekend x
Hello Friday! Christmas lights are popping up all around us now that we’re fully into December, and it’s lovely to see them all twinkling away. Now I know these two photos aren’t quite Christmassy, but I also love these bright neon lights, creatively shaped into body parts. I think they look great!
Happy weekend x
In my final part of my Neon Workshop series, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 here, I want to share more of their work with you. After last week’s mood board post I thought it would be nice to do the same again this week, as I think it captures the medium of neon well.
I love how neon let’s you be free with your designs, there’s nothing you can’t create. Each design has manipulated, twisted and folded to create a piece of unique art that will last for many years to come.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about Neon Workshops and would like to try your hand at creating your very own sculpture, Richard runs workshops throughout the year, from one day intensive courses, to 2 hour taster sessions, there is something for all levels – I may even see you there!
Finally I’d like to say a big thank you to Richard and the rest of his team for letting me visit their studio and share their work with you, it’s been great fun, and my new found love for neon is here to stay.
Oh how I love neon light,
and to make your Monday bright
here’s my mood boards dedicated
to this wonderful sight…
Such wonderful colours you do shine,
it makes the world look mighty fine,
blue, yellow, green and red,
oh how you’ve got inside my head…
You will never ever dull my day,
no matter what any one else has to say,
so shine bright you crazy thing,
as you’re about to make the whole world sing.
Images taken from my Neon Lights Pinterest board.
Last week I posted my first instalment in this month’s Artist of the Month series, featuring Neon Workshops. In this second part I’ll be showing you their work and explaining how they create these bright neon designs
At the moment Richard is exhibiting his latest work; Beautiful Hazards in the Neon Workshops gallery space. The exhibition concentrates on Richard’s interest with industrial hazard graphics and features both neon and mixed media.
The exhibition runs until 15th March, so you still have time to catch this great work.
There is a lot of time, effort and skill that goes into creating these pieces, along with a little touch of alchemy to add to the effect. Once a design has been decided, the real hard work begins. Shaping and cutting the glass over 800 degree heat is no mean feat, especially when there are no gloves! Then you have to carefully blow into the glass tube to stop it from buckling under the heat, but don’t inhale, otherwise your design will become deflated and imploding!
Next comes the fusing, where the electrodes are fused onto the ends of the neon, and to do this you need an electron bombarder, a machine that uses 20,000 volts to pump helium into the neon, creating a vacuum so you can then add your choice of gas depending on what colour you’d like your design to be. To begin with all neon lights emit an orange light…
and by adding different chemicals and gases other colours are created; adding hydrogen will give you red and a touch of mercury will give you a beautiful blue hue.
The list of colours and designs are endless, and with a little bot of imagination, there is nothing you can’t create with neon.
I’d like to introduce my first Artist of the Month: Neon Workshops. They are a great team of artists and designers manufacturing neon lighting for the creative industries, and also teaching the only public neon workshops in the UK.
Over the next two weeks I’ll be posting about this talented team, sharing insight into their art and what got them involved in neon.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit their studio in Wakefield, where I gained a wonderful insight into how neon began, how it grew commercially strong in the 1960’s, how Leeds was the epicentre for making neon lighting outside of London, and finally how neon is making it’s long overdue comeback.
Richard Wheater is the artist behind Neon Workshops and speaking to him, I got to see his passion for this medium and how he’s dedicated to teaching his skills not only here in the UK, but globally too. His love of neon started back at university, and where he found inspiration from the high rise glass buildings that were going up around him, from then on he never looked back.
Today Richard, along with a few local artists and designers, are helping to bring the art of neon back into the mainstream, and rid it of it’s stereotype of signs in seedy shops and 1980’s barbershops. Neon is more than light, it’s art, it’s sculpture, it’s anything you want it to be…
Many of these pieces were produced for exhibitions, with the focus of creating a talking point around each subject and propelling neon a little further into the mainstream.
March is the month of Neon on Danni Saw This. Each week I’ll be celebrating the comeback of neon light with posts dedicated to this not so lost art, and I’ll also be featuring my first artist of the month; Neon Workshops.
But first, a little history… In 1898 neon was discovered by two British chemists, Sir William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers and by 1911 Frenchman Georges Claudes was producing the first commercial neon signs. But it wasn’t until the 1960’s when neon was truly experimented with to create wonderful pieces of art.
Today the art, skill and love of neon light has been gaining momentum and is now shining as bright as ever, and it’s caught my attention in a huge way. Where ever I go I find a sign or sculpture made from neon or ‘cold cathode’ lighting that tells me neon is here to stay.
It doesn’t seem right to categorise neon under ‘quirks’ as it’s much more than that. It’s definitely the more unusual medium to work with, but if you look closely neon is everywhere and I hope in the next coming weeks I can show you how wonderful it is, and to prove to you it’s not just an old 1980s barbershop sign.