The dying art of glass bending for making neon signs is still being practised in inner-city Brisbane.
Neon sign maker Michael Blazek, co-curator of last year’s State Library of Queensland display The Salon Electric, is hosting an introductory four-week workshop for those interested in learning more about making neon.
The hands-on introductory course will take participants into the world of glass bending including safety, essential tools and equipment, design and bending practice. The culmination of the workshop will be a final artwork which you can opt for processing and illumination after the course.
Course overview: Tue 31 July until 21 August 2018
Week One Tuesday 31 July 6.30-9.30pm
Introduction; discuss rules and conditions while in Neon Signs Australia factory; safety meeting to discuss potential risks and steps put in place to minimize those risks; equipment explanation, description of its essential work utility and proper use of; glass bender kit awarded to each student along with description of its uses and further explanation of essential glass bender’s tools for use; neon sign design overview for each student to consider their own art pieces and how we will achieve them; description of the glass inventory, electrodes and their particular characteristics available to each student; introduction to the ribbon burner and its proper use
Week Two Tuesday 7 August 6.30-9.30pm
Safety review; individual design consultation; resume ribbon burner practice; introduction to the fish tail burner for welding; essentials of effective glass cutting and splicing
Week Three Tuesday 14 August 6.30-9.30pm
Safety review; ribbon burner and fish tail burner practice with concentration on specifics required to achieve student’s artwork; dispensation of electrodes with intention of completing glass bending process on individual pieces (ready to be evacuated and gassed by trained professional); welding practice; introduction to the cross fire burner for intricate bending and quick welding
Week Four Tuesday 21 August 6.30-10pm
Safety meeting; progress review toward finished pieces; ribbon burner, fish tail burner and cross fire burner concentration; electrodes attached to final artworks (ready for processing).