I’ve always had a thing for neon signs. They’re a product from the past, a time before the technological boom, where we experienced life without internet, cellphones and over-connectivity, where we had nothing else to do on a Sunday afternoon, but go play on the streets instead of staring at a screen. Every neon is unique, they have to be entirely made by hand, as its still impossible to manufacture them in a mass-production factory. Sygns is one of the few manufacturers, who are and expert in that trade and I was over the moon, when they asked me, if I would like one of my handwritings made into a neon. But what writing was I supposed to go with I was spoiled for choice.
In one of my recent blog posts, I told you the story about how jewellery designer Elisabeth found the word “love” in one of my sketching books and fell in love with the way it was written. As you know, every written word is unique and can’t be reproduced. You might be able to try and copy it, but the writing was made by those exact thoughts and emotions I had that very moment, that you cannot reproduce. In fact I tried to redo it, because in my eyes it wasn’t perfect, but Elisabeth stuck with the writing she had found and made it part of her logo design and I started to see its unique beauty.
So the choice was made – that little unique writing was going to become a big shining neon, to remind me of all those nostalgic moments and the things I love.
And this is how the guys at Sygns made my neon come to life:
- My scanned handwriting was printed into a 1:1 scale. The glassblowers first step was to figure out how many tube glasses he needed to use and how to bend them in order to make it look exactly like my handwriting.
- Then the glass tube had to be carefully heated and softened, using a variety of burners. The tubing is always bent by hand and the tube benders do not wear any protective gloves, because they must be able to feel the heat transfer and the degree of softening in the glass, to determine the right moment to make the bend. While the glass is still soft, the tube bender gently blows into the hose to force the tubing back to its original diameter. Following my printed handwriting, the glass blower carefully bent and shaped the glass tubes.
- Once all the pieces were finished, an electrode was heated and fused at both ends of the bent tube.
- The glassblower then vacuumed the tube to empty it of any impurity and replace the impure air with clean air.
- Only two colours can be obtained with clear glass: red (neon gas) or blue (argon gas). In order to obtain different colours (in my case white), the tubes need to be powder coated on the inside.
- The last step is called aging. My neon was connected to a convertor and tested. If there are any impurities inside of the tube, the neon has to be opened and the vacuuming and filling process remade from scratch.
IF YOUD LIKE TO HAVE A HANDWRITING TO USE AS A TEMPLATE FOR A CUSTOM MADE NEON, SEND ME AN EMAIL TO: MAIL@KRISTINHESSE.COM. SYGNS WILL THEN USE MY TEMPLATE TO CREATE YOUR VERY OWN AND UNIQUE NEON LETTERING (WORLDWIDE SHIPPING). CHECK OUT THEIR WEBPAGE FOR MORE INSPIRATION HERE.