• Two hour neon art session
• Learn what neon is, what it can be used for and how to make it
• Demonstrations of cutting, blowing, stretching, bending and fusing glass with flame then filling with gas and illuminating with electricity
• Have a go yourself under expert tuition and take home the results
• Opportunity to view current neon art in the onsite galley
What Can I Expect
Fulfil your electric dreams with these neon art classes! This neon design workshop in Wakefield is the only place in the country were you can learn how to make neon signs and our two hour taster session will see you learning all about illumination through electric fields and even making a neon light to take home with you.
Once upon a time neon lighting was everywhere; from the sign in the window of your local cab office, to the latest artist installation by Tracey Emin. With the emergence of LED lighting, the commercial use of neon lighting might have started to fade, but now it basks in the glowing glory of retro cool, with neon sculptures and signs being used in everything from pop videos and chic hotels, to very cool and collectible pieces of art.
On these workshops you will be learning from a duo of highly skilled and experienced neon shapers and creators. Watch in awe as a design drawn on paper comes to life as glass tubing is cut and then heated and bent into the required shape during the most meticulous part of the whole process, before fusing electrodes to the end.
Then comes the magical bit to neon art. The colours. You’ll discover that different coloured neon lights are created using different noble gases, phosfors and coloured glasses. For example, a bright red glow comes from filling the tube with neon gas, purple is from argon and electric blue is created by mixing argon with mercury.
But how do these gases get into that freshly made neon sign? Well, that’s where the mystical Electron Bombarder machine comes in. It might sound like something from a Stanley Kubrick film, but this gadget pumps the life into the neon art, with helium first being used to clean the tube, before the gas corresponding to the required colour goes in.
The final touch is the high voltage transformer. Once plugged in, the neon design lights up with that inimitable glow that only neon signs can give you - and they last for around 50,000 hours! After observing the demonstration, you get to have a little go at the art of making neons for yourself. And the great thing about this workshop is that after making your neon you then take home the results!
• Workshops take place on selected Wednesday evenings and Saturday between May and July
• Places are limited so please book well in advance to avoid disappointment
• Wednesdays: 7-9pm
• Saturdays: 10am-12noon, 1-3pm & 4-6pm
• Minimum age 14
• Under 16s must be accompanied by a participating adult
• This experience is not suitable for spectators
Anything Else I Need To Know?
• Should participants wish to have their glass filled with gas and electrodes attached this can be arranged for an extra charge of £20 and would be ready for collection the following week
• Transformers/power supplies are not included but can be purchased on the day for an additional charge
• Wakefield, West Yorkshire