Students in this class will design a sample neon piece for signage, architectural, or artistic use. Participants will be instructed in neon pattern making and will begin to create a paper design to be made into neon. Designs will be discussed and suggestions made on design improvements.
Participants will learn how neon transformers, hardware, and other elements such as metals, plastics, found objects, glass, drywall, etc. can be integrated with neon design. The workshop can be used for familiarization with neon, but it is particularly appropriate for architects, designers and artists who want to create with neon, or integrate neon into their work.
Please bring any sketch pads, pens, pencils, erasers, drafting equipment, etc. as you see fit. Neon pattern paper will be supplied. Some metals, plastics and other such materials will be shown, but if a particular material is of interest, it is suggested that participants bring a piece of the material to the workshop.
This 3-hour hands-on class will be led by Len Davidson, author of Vintage Neon (Schiffer Press, 1999). Davidson collects and restores classic neon signs, and about 10 of his 100 piece collection are on display in the Center for Architecture gallery and AIA Bookstore. Since 1979 he has also operated a neon design business in Philadelphia.
Len’s interest in neon was planted by growing up in Philadelphia in the 50s, while gazing in childhood wonder at such iconic signs as the Levis Hot Dog, Sun Ray Drugs’ animated mortar and pestle, and the Boot and Saddle. His interest bloomed in the mid 70s when he started a bar/restaurant with a neon ceiling while teaching sociology at University of Florida in Gainesville.