An Art Overlooked: The Making of Neon Signs

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July 10, 2017 by katmcdaniel

Reblogging this gem from 2014 to begin our exploration of the theme of glass this week. More new things to come!

synkroniciti

Sometimes we fail to see the craftsmanship that surrounds us. Is the impressive art of neon sign making becoming extinct?

Pattaya, Thailand Pattaya, Thailand, Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Neon signs have been an eye-catching way to advertise in large cities around the world for a century. Debuting in 1910 in an exhibition by George Claude, founder of Air Liquide, at the Paris Motor Show, their glittering colors took the world by storm. The heyday of neon in the United States lasted roughly from 1920 to 1960, while it peaked in Hong Kong from 1980 to 2000. This wonderful and enlightening video from M+, a museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, explores the culture and process behind the construction of neon signs, an art that is rapidly being replaced by new LED technology. Artisans painstakingly build these signs, twisting glass tubes heated to almost 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. These tubes must be shaped into…

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