Hello lightning Tamers this is episode number 44. In today's podcast, recorded June 22, 2020, I'll be joined by David Svenson David Svenson was born in 1953 in Upland, California. He graduated from Pitzer College in 1980, and has been incorporating neon in his work since the mid 80s. Often using glass and neon as his dominant medium, hiis works are known to express the subtle glow of colored light in combination with carved wood or other sculptural materials. Growing up in the rural citrus country of Southern California, just miles away from classic examples of State Route 66 neon signage, he was left with an early impression of multi-colored light easily seen in the darkness of the night. This childhood juxtaposition, combined with witnessing breathtaking displays of the Aurora Borealis in mid teens where he studied Alaskan Tlingit art and culture, set David on the path of light. Learning, teaching, sharing skills and knowledge about glass, neon, art and the Pacific rim cultures are important aspects of Davidâs life today. Aside from working in his studio, David teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and has taught classes at the Pilchuck Glass School, WA, Corning Museum of Glass,, Urban Glass, NY, and has given workshops internationally. He has served as Board President of MONA (The Museum of Neon Art) and works periodically with a team of Alaska Native totem carvers on large commissions.
Hello Podcast listeners, before we begin today's episode I want to thank everyone for their support for Taming Lightning, especially those who are supporting me through Patreon. They help cut the cost of hosting the podcast, and for their contributions receive some additional benefits.
Currently Iâm working on Chapter Notes based on the Intro to Plasma Series, pulling out sections of the video podcast, expanding, and adding better visuals all repackaged for quick and easy access.
Current Chapter Notes is for Chapter 2 where Iâm working to expand the importance of structure in plasma to provide a set of Structural Guidelines.
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This childhood juxtaposition, combined with witnessing breathtaking displays of the Aurora Borealis in mid teens where he studied Alaskan Tlingit art and culture, set David on the path of light. Learning, teaching, sharing skills and knowledge about glass, neon, art and the Pacific rim cultures are important aspects of Davidâs life today. Aside from working in his studio, David teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and has taught classes at the Pilchuck Glass School, WA, Corning Museum of Glass,, Urban Glass, NY, and has given workshops internationally. He has served as Board President of MONA (The Museum of Neon Art) and works periodically with a team of Alaska Native totem carvers on large commissions.
This an interactive place to provide information & help for people interested in or working in neon or plasma.
I hope you enjoyed the podcast.
Thank you David Svenson for joining me and sharing with us your inspirations and about your approach to light.
You see Davidâs approach to neon and plasma is sculptural and he brought up a good point about art. That the critics and your audience are not likely to care about technical or the name of said technique. I agree that the overall important thing to consider is the art, and itâs meaning. To expand on that is to say that your rendering of your meaning is dependent on where it arrives on an aesthetic and philosophical matrix, how it is conceived and rendered on itâs design and itâs concept and or symbolism. As example bugs bunny, a hyper real painting of rabbit, and the white rabbit from aliceâs Adventures in Wonderland, each have varying degree of design, detail, and symbolism to meet their particular purpose and or meaning.
So this has got me thinking deeply about plasma as a medium in glass, and overall place in Art and sculpture. More thoughts on that soon, if you like please comment on the blog or send email to email@example.com. Iâd love hear what you think about that, and recommendations to who to have this conversation with.
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As always Be Safe, Be Healthy, and Be Strong, and Iâll See you next time.
-Percy Echols II, Taming Lightning
Neon Dreams, So Hard to Beat Toledo Museum of Art Date: June 13-17th, 2022; Time: 9am-5pm Instructor: Sarah Blood Class Description: This one-week course will be an introduction to the aesthetic and conceptual possibilities of neon, by exploring traditional and experimental neon techniques students will develop the skills they need for planning, creating, and installing their own neon works. The course will focus on play, material exploration and personal expression. Group discussion and slides shows will cover historical and contemporary issues relevant to the practice and process of neon and its use as a medium for sculpture.
INSTRUCTOR: Sarah Blood
Hello Lightning Tamers!
In today's livestream I'll be joined by James Akers to talk about the upcoming workshop at the Pittsburgh Glass Center called Borderline, where we will blur the line between conventional neon technique and experimental plasma illumination.
If you have additional questions please share in the comments and we'll answer them in further posts!
Dates: July 4 - July 8, 2022
Time: 9:00 AM To 5:00 PM, Additional Studio Time: 6:00 PM - 10:00PM
Location: Pittsburgh Glass Center
Instructor: James Akers
In this hot shop class, we will be learning both traditional neon techniques as well as a myriad of soft glass plasma techniques. By alternating between neon and plasma processes, we will blur the lines between these two related crafts.
We will be making lots of things! Many of the techniques we will be covering require a bit of trial and error. Some failure is inevitable when learning. By learning and experimenting with a variety of techniques, you will have plenty of tools to use when making neon and plasma ideas.
To allow for maximum time in the studio we will have neon demos in the morning, slide lectures after lunch, with plasma demos, filling, and student work time in the evening.
Our demonstrations will include basic neon tube bending, sealing on electrodes, using glass solder connections, and leak repairs. We will also be making shapes in the hot shop for reworking with torches.
Lectures include examples of both neon and plasma and where they overlap, aesthetic and functional consideration for making plasma works. We will go over rules for making both neon and plasma.
You should expect to create simple neon shapes and see firsthand the luminous differences between neon and plasma. You will also be creating sculptures using blown glass shapes in the hot shop that are turned into plasma with flameworking, coldworking and kilnworking techniques.
Welcome to Taming Lightning, I'm Percy Echols II. I'm the creator and host of Taming Lightning, as well as the emerging plasma tech at Pittsburgh Glass Center, where I'm researching and developing a space to explore Plasma and Neon Light as an Artist Medium.