With Flechtner’s background in sculpture(BFA, MFA) , as he began to learn how to bend neon tubes, it became clear to him through literally some “wrong turns” that he would be able to create 3 dimensional neon forms in what is primarily considered a 2 dimensional medium. He believes he has a “gift” that enables him to be able to visualize the finished work and then to create patterns, jigs, techniques and other devices in order to create these very “in the round” neon artworks.
Michael would say “I knew that it was very important to develop sound bending skills and techniques so that my work would survive, handling, bombarding, and finally assembly and installation.”
And thus over the years, he’s created a number of forms in various sizes that include sea life, aircrafts, radios, cameras, etc. The smallest 3D plane he’s made has a 6 inch wingspan and the largest 3D shark 7 long long. Flechtner says “It is surprising to me…as well as others how strong these fragile constructions really are”.
Note for context this episode was recorded in early June of 2020, it seems so far away, with all that’s happened in between. Let’s get right to it!
I'd like to thank Pittsburgh Glass Center for supporting me as a place of research and inspiration. Plasma Art Alliance where I have access to the well of knowledge and connects me to some amazing and supportive people. Additionally, I’d like to extend thanks to the staff at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, I cannot foresee any other timeline for which I’d be able to do what I do today.
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As always Be Safe, Be Healthy, and Be Strong, and I’ll See you next time.
-Percy Echols II, Taming Lightning
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.