Contributions to the Advancement of the Neon Arts.
Strattman, Wayne (2008) Contributions to the Advancement of the Neon Arts. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.
This thesis concerns contributions made to the field of the Neon Arts. The field originated in the mid-nineteenth century with the invention of the Geissler tube, a blown glass tube internally illuminated by the electrical excitement of the low pressure gas it contained. The art was predominately represented in the mid-1900s by conventional Neon signage. The introduction of the Studio Glass Arts movement in the 1960s began to expand the range of expression beyond signage, incorporating different glass structures, filling gases, power options, and other emerging technologies to produce a wide range of illuminated sculpture. In the span of his twenty-five year career, Wayne Strattman has made a variety of contributions to the field.
These have included:
Publications: The publication of a primary reference book, Neon Techniques, 4th Edition, with over five thousand copies sold, and one hundred articles in the
leading trade journal, “Signs of the Times.” These publications not only consolidated historical and newly emerging technical knowledge but also
incorporated a significant amount of original research. Results of this research include techniques for accelerating the filling of glass tubes with gases at low
pressure, new ways to remove impurities from glass tubes, the adoption of foreline traps for enhanced vacuum pumping, new ways to stress test glass, and new ways to test outgassing rates.
Patents: The development of two individual and one shared patent for new Neon technologies. One invention in particular, LuminglasTM (the first kinetic,
interactive, flat plasma device capable of producing planes of moving light) has been incorporated in, among other applications, consumer products, movie set displays, and architectural installations around the globe.
Artwork: The first art pieces to incorporate flat panel, kinetic gas discharge displays. The author has also explored a range of additional illumination media and refined their qualities of expression for use in sculpture. Products: The commercial realization of four technical devices to aid in the development of neon sculpture and eleven consumer products that have significantly heightened popular awareness of new Neon technologies (as
evidenced by sales in the tens of millions of dollars.) Community Involvement: Formative member of the developing community of illuminated glass artists (whose chosen media include and extend beyond traditional neon). The author curated the first Illuminated Glass Art show and has been an active representative of Neon within the Glass Art Society.
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