Saturday, September 13, 2014

Neon Class Underway

The last few days have been packed full! Hence the lack of posts this week.
Richard's planned some great little activities for us. We've done early morning yoga (though I suspect he was just amusing himself, watching us do everything he told us to. I don't think he's done yoga a day in his life), walks down to the harbor, drawing expeditions, various hot shop and flameworking demos and exercises and late-night, neon photography sessions.

Richard and Handsome Will (our TA), planning out our cane excercise

The cane can be used as neon tubing, which is great cause you can get all sorts of colours and effects into the surface of the neon using various colour applications in the hotshop.
A couple of nights ago, both classes were really fortunate to be invited Lani and Daniel McGregor house for drinks and a tour of their glass collection. Lani and Daniel are the directors (and founders, I believe..) of Bullseye Glass.
Their manor house is PACKED to the brim with work from kiln form glassies, most of whom have gone through Northlands at some point as a teacher, TA or resident. It was SO generous of them to have us all. Their collection was breath taking. And the Aussies were well represented!

The McGregor's Scottish home - "Latheron House"
Lani and Daniel

This is one of the pieces in their collection - a kiln-formed chandelier by... Dante Marioni! Who knew he had a kiln former hidden in there somewhere!

These are from our walk down to little Shalligeo beach at the end of Lybster. What started as a drawing walk turned into a really lovely swim in the crisp North Sea and a doze in the sunshine.

Soaking up the glorious weather on a one-off sunny day

Richard wrote up some riddles for us and planted them for us on the way back to the studio.
Can anyone work out the answers? Comment below if you think you've worked them out ;) 

Back in the studio, we're getting into the swing of neon.

Sasha, working on some tubing, and a bunch of our tests in the annealing rack.
This is one of Richard's demos. The pressurized tube is filled with glass beads which causes the electricity to crackle like lightning as it finds its way through the vacuum.

I've been working on script because its one of the harder things to make with neon.
This is my first word!!

Flame-worked glass tubing, waiting to be cleaned, pressurized and filled with argon!
This is the pattern for my word. We work backwards so that the face of the lettering sits flat.
This is it lit up with helium during processing!
This is what happens mercury (which sits in a little trap during processing) gets released into the argon-filled tube.
Argon is a pale lilac colour, and when it gets exposed to mercury vapor it turns bright icy blue!
Richards being careful here when he's shaking the piece because exposed live wires are connected to it.
More photos to come when we start making and photographing more exciting pieces!

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