It's always good to push boundaries - or so I told myself when I signed up for a neon glass workshop. Yesterday, I trundled off to Neon Workshops in Wakefield for a one-day course. Following an intro about the history of neon, the various gases, burners & other equipment, we were invited to create a design that would get created by one of the course tutors in the afternoon. Well........you know me, right? After explaining that I'd rather have a wonky squiggle that was mine than a masterpiece that got made for me, I hit the burner - As you know, I do do sculpture, but bending tube was a bit of a novelty, and my main reason for signing up. I was hugely impressed with how well behaved the glass was (neon makers work with soft glass, soda lime - did you know??). I discovered a love for the ribbon burner and managed to make two squiggles in 18mm tube - then, I have to admit, I let one of the tutors join them together into one long squiggle. Filled with Argon and a hint of Mercury, the squiggle will be my 'blue sea' and will proudly live one the wall in the new studio - now all I need is some glass fishies and boats to live above and beneath it.
Here are a few photos from the day - one shows my squiggle being filled with gas, one is of somebody else's piece (done by the tutors), and one show my squiggle on the 'aging bench' (underneath the main work surface), where the colour settles after filling :o)