Crushed Velvet Neon Heart Light

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Turn on your love light with this neon crushed velvet heart. This sensual prop was originally created as a decorative focal point for the Valentine’s Day dinner seatings and party at a trendy restaurant and lounge. Made of velvet, with a wood base, the red neon surrounds the heart in a halo of seductive light. It is powered by a solid state transformer, with 6′ cord, which plugs into a 120V (house current) grounded receptacle. The entire piece weighs less than 20#, complete with hanger assembly.

Measurements: 42″ tall, 44″ wide, 4.5″ deep

Vintage Neon Signs

electric ice tea neon sign

electric ice tea neon sign

bar air conditioned neon sign

bar air conditioned neon sign

We make neon, among the many things we create as designers in our studio. Our work has been represented in magazines, newspapers, television, film. It may also be seen in books by the artist, and authority Rudy Stern. The New Let There Be Neon, and Contemporary Neon, include our work for consumer goods giant Procter + Gamble, as well as indie businesses and restaurants. The late, Mr. Stern describes our studio City Lights Neon (Cincinnati) as “one of the most innovative workshops in the country, known for its craftsmanship and high level of design expertise.”

These neon signs would make a great gift as an addition to either one’s personal bar or a commercial environment. They were originally made and used by a client. We have since cleaned and refurbished the piece with a new solid state transformer. They are assembled on painted metal frames and are ready to be plugged in.

Nels Johnson Neon Photographs

Dairy Queen photograph
One of the skills we possess is the creation of neon tubing for art and signage. We saw these photos back in the early 80s displayed at an outdoor art market outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. The juried show was and still is titled “Summer Fair” attracting local, regional, as well as nationally known artists creating in various media. We purchased two photographs by Nels Johnson from Florida who travels to and from similar shows displaying and selling his photography. He has one awards for his work some of which depict beautiful natural settings, some provide a nostalgic look at architecture and signage such as those we purchased. One is a color photograph of a Dairy Queen in Charlotte, North Carolina shot in the 70s. The neon and other temporary ephemeral advertisements for ice cream and fast food specialties caught our eyes. the other is This is a color photograph of a Leon’s Frozen Custard stand shot in the 70s. The architecture of the building is set off by the neon tubing. Without the neon the building would lack presence and nostalgia. It is framed with a simple black frame wood and tastefully matted. Perfect for someone’s old fashioned ice cream stand or a shrine to drive up ice cream stands omnipresent in the 50s-70s throughout the U.S.

Body Electric

Body Electric sculpture
Dennis and I have been a bit distracted lately. In addition to running two brick and mortar businesses (City Lights Neon and Deux Design) and Ephemerascenti on Etsy, we have been working on a pro bono piece. It will be auctioned to benefit our local Building Values, an affiliate of Easter Seals.

ReUse-apalooza Designer Challenge is the additional focus. The challenge invited local designers to browse salvaged and used materials and receive a store credit up to $100.00 to be used in an artistic or functional piece. The challenge will culminate in an event and silent auction of the finished works on April 8th, 2011.

Dennis and I browsed the facility for nearly two hours; considering materials for multiple projects. We selected, after debate, vintage painted wood molding, used fuses, and a common mirror, from among well organized and displayed materials. Our design was not pre-conceived, it was driven, with spontaneity, by the available salvaged materials.

We knew we would augment the salvaged items with materials from our studio. We had off fall from glass tubing and perhaps a neon transformer that we had used to power a prop for a movie or shoot we would not sell as new.

We also realized the need to weave the theme we described as “body electric” through the piece. We decided to etch the used mirror to mask the barely discernible scratches. The etched design, highlighting the chakras and meridians, would re-iterate the theme and link the fuses as materials to the etched image.

The neon, made in our studio, would provide an indirect orange glow suggested by the graphics on many of the fuses. As an indirect light source, it would be enjoyed as a halo of light shadowing and enhancing the work.

An interview with the “Living” editor of our local newspaper, The Enquirer, resulted in a feature presenting “Body Electric” and other examples of our art which often includes up-cycled or re-sourced materials. Our greatest reward will be seeing the bids accrue and knowing the sum will be donated in its entirety to Building Value/Easter Seals on April 8th!