Dancing Neon Jacob Fishman
Artist, Engineer, Educator

My earliest recollection of neon was seeing a sign about a half mile from my home. I was about five years old. When my family went out we would pass the sign and of course pass it again upon return. This became a landmark to me. The warm glow told me I would soon be home. As a child my birthday wish was for such a neon however, I couldn't describe it. That year I received a new bedside lamp. photo of a "neon sign"

neon, earth lamp The next year started with a new house in the suburbs. There were no neons and soon I forgot my sign. Living in a construction zone I soon acquired a fascination with glass and the breaking of it. I grew up with an affinity toward light, color, and glass. In high school my focus was on photography and lighting for theater. This continued through college although my major was electrical engineering.

Returning home I became a city dweller. My hobby became my profession. I worked, experimented, and taught photography. On a personal level enjoyed painting with light, a technique of multiple and time exposures, sometimes I would run about with a flashlight or strobe. Many of my prints appeared to be lines of light. At an exhibition a stranger said to me "You make neon sculptures, don't you?" I answered, "Yes."

neon, wings


I began to re-discover neon in my mid-twenties. I became a lamp worker and a sign maker and I opened a neon studio. Soon I was collecting, experimenting, and helping others with neon projects. My first sculptures were similar to my photos. Free form streaks of color. This time the color was in real space as opposed to a performance for the film plane.

Later my art shifted becoming more representational. I selected symbols from different time periods and cultures to find many universal truths. I learned that Hieroglyphs ,when assembled in order , was a list of things that are most important, i.e., Shelter, Food, Procreation... Neon, "Rear View Mirror"

Molly's self portrait  

On a recent project I asked my youngest daughter, Molly, "What are the most important things to you?" Molly's reply included, "Mom and Dad, our house, my pets, and snacks!" I then asked her to draw. The drawings were simple. Our home consisting of walls, roof, chimney and door. Here is "Molly's Self Portrait" and "My Tracing of Molly."

Well I hope you liked this sampling of my work. In the near future I plan to feature more neon artists, technical articles, and lots more pictures. If you want to be notified of new postings or if you just want to chat, please E-mail. Until then leave a light on for me.

tracing molly

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Last Update August 22, 2008
©1995,2008 Jacob Fishman