March 17, 2002

Rick Schneider

@Virginia Commonwealth University

Not much of a formal meeting, but the demos were great!

Rick Schneider demonstrated the procedures necessary to "make" NEON. The procedure takes glass tubing, bends it to the desired shapes, attaches electrodes and then processes the tube. Processing includes pumping the finished tube to a partial vacuum, bombarding the tube with high voltage until the glass becomes hot and the electrodes glow cherry red (to remove impurities). The tube is then pumped to the best vacuum achievable with the equipment on hand, filled to sub-atmospheric pressure with neon gas, tested briefly, and then sealed, ready for use.

With the complete neon shop VCU is now offering instruction in the art form, and will be offering a 3 week course late this spring (2002).

The second and third demos moved to the hot shop where Rick made glass cane and then used the cane to create a beautiful goblet.

Thanks to Rick for presenting these demos -- they MADE the meeting! Hey, if you missed it... you MISSED it!

Neon tubing comes in a variety of colors

a large ribbon burner makes long, smooth bends easier

electrodes attached, pumped to partial vacuum, and the bombarded switched on. notice the red-hot electrodes at each end


twisting and pulling a LONG cane of hot glass

close-up look at the finished glass design

nearly finished with the goblet - made from the glass at left