I talk to myself a lot. These Internal dialogues are the source of my art making. I might be thinking about something I’ve read or maybe an interaction I’ve witnessed or been part of. I am a student of the ways we communicate and fail to communicate both verbally and physically—how we define each other through assumption and/or thinking it’s our fault or it’s never our fault and how we can live in these little worlds of ours.
So I ponder my thoughts and research possibilities until I find a concept I want to work with. Often a theme emerges. Then I begin to play with the glass, bending it, until I find forms that express the idea.
Facts about Neon
How much power does a piece of neon art use: Plugging in a piece of neon art is no different than plugging in any kind of light fixture. On average a neon art work uses less than power than a 40 watt light bulb. Neon tubes can last up to 75 years and can be re-gassed at a neon shop.
The art pieces are powered by small light weight electronic transformers that are installed inside the box unlike the heavy ferro magnetic transformers that are used in the sign industry. Neon power suppliers use safety features such as ground fault interruption and over voltage protection that protect from shock or fire hazards. UL (Underwriters Laboratory) declared neon to be “closed loop” green.
How do you get the colors: The initial color source is the gas–neon (red), argon (purple), argon with mercury added (blue) and krypton (white). The glass can be clear, have fluorescent powders added or the glass may be colored. The colored glass can also have fluorescent powders added. The powder is painted or baked to the inside walls of the glass tubing. The mix of type of glass and type of gas creates color.
What causes the light to “bead”? “Beading” is produced naturally by argon, neon and krypton gas. Beading looks like there small beads moving inside the tube. Transformers have been developed to give some control over the speed and size of the “beads”. These transformers “pulse” which triggers the beading. Many of my art works use beading transformers.