More from the Neon Program

More projects beaming out of the Neon program.

Key -> HgAr = Mercury with Argon gas; creates a powder blue color, Ne = Neon gas; no vacancy red :)


Rick’s first project in Neon was a multi-area project utilizing the woodshop for the frame and the Neon area to construct the penguin.

Dimensions: 26″w x 38’h, 10mm glass filled with HgAr

From 50K feet, how was it done?

  • Rick started off with a pattern for the glass.
  • From the pattern, he inverted the pattern to redraw in reverse.  This is required so that the surface of the penguin lays flat on a surface, while the electrodes and complex bends push to the back.
  • To ensure that all of the elctrodes allow the penguin parts to display at the same level, he made sure that all the glass ends were cut to the same size (Note, the glass penetrates the wood base and is wired to the transformer in the back)
  • The wood box enclosure (cavity towrds the wall), was contructed in the woodshop.
  • The holes for the glass pieces were measured based on the actual units for a perfect fit.
  • All 4 glass units are connected in series to a ~6.5KV30mA transformer
  • Rick also added a “white wash” of paint, adding accent and dimesion, to make penguin standout against the black background


The Knot

Devon, as a professional scientific glassblower, had no issue attemping this advanced neon project for his first MMS Neon  project.

Dimensions: 10″ diameter (front curcle), 11″ diamater back circle, ~5’depth, Front piece filled with HgAr, the back piece filled with Ne; 10mm glass

From 50K feet, how was it done?

  • A pattern was made for the knot (blue) and the backlight circle (red)
  • Symmetry is significantly challenging at this scale, compounded with the “weaving” of the glass to achive the knot in 1 continuous piece of glass.
  • The design of this piece utilizes a indirect lighting technique (backlight) that allows the red glow to be seen without actually seeing the glass.
  • Using the black arylic disks allows for the blue knot to stadout against the red backlighting.
  • The Ne and HgAr units are connected in series to a ~4kV transformer
  • By design, allowing the ends of the knot to extend beyond the surface of the front disc, allows for some of the blue and red to mix on the wall in the background. This effect adds additional color mixing, enhancing the overall piece.
  • The construction of the discs and placement of the glass allow for shadows to reveal. This effect adds volume to the piece (as seen above witht the light blue shadow)

Excellent job by both!

We play on Wednesday nights at the Norwich site.  Please swing by or ask the artists for specifics about their pieces.

New works from the Neon program

We have some great projects erupting from the Neon program!!!

As you read, HgAr = Mercury/Argon – gas emanates a powder blue color
Ne = Neon gas, emanates the “no vacancy” red color seen on many neon signs

Self Portrait

Starting off with the latest fantabulousness from Gary. An excellent job working with a multimedia project that required the Neon area and woodshop.

The dimensions are 38″w x 24″h, 10mm diameter glass, filled with Ne (red), and a white phosphor-coated 10mm tube filled with HrAr (blue) to create white.

From 50K feet, how was it done?

  • Gary constructed a wooden frame utilizing the Norwich wood shop.
  • He mounted a printed image to 1/8″ white acrylic sheet.
  • Using a x-acto knife, he carefully cut out the image from the printout to expose the white acrylic (lower right)
  • A paper pattern was drawn and used to create the glasses
  • A separate pattern was created to create an outline around the image in the lower right
  • The glasses are filled with Ne gas and are mounted on top of the print
  • Underneath the acrylic, a white-coated tube filled with HgAr was used to construct the outline that glows through the acrylic cutout



For Peter’s 3rd Neon project, he created some ghosts to hang up in his son’s room

Size (to be added) constructed with acrylic, 10mm green phosphor coated glass with HgAr for the green ghost, Ne with clear tubing for the red ghost

From 50K feet, how was it done?

  • Starting with a paper pattern, Peter constructed the ghosts in such a way that the eyes could connect without distracting from the image.
  • Looking at the green ghost, the eyes are made of clear glass, and the ghost itself, from green phosphor-coasted glass.  This allows the ghost to have 2  colors in the final piece.  Clear glass filled with HgAr – blue, green phosphor glass filled with HgAr produces green.
  • From the final glass form, Peter then cut out the acrylic to exactly match the shape of the ghost
  • Mounting the transformer and french hinge on the back allows the ghost to seem like it is gloating on the wall



Sam’s first neon piece!!!

Size (to be added), 10mm clear glass filled with Ne, mounted on (wood, type to be added)

From 50K feet, how was it done?

  • It all starts with the paper pattern, drawing the actual size shape and then flipping it over to bend the glass
    • Note: all Neon pieces are bent backwards to accommodate electrodes and other mounting supports
  • Once created, the wood background was cutout and the glass was mounted.
  • Utilizing a french hinge, the piece can hang on the wall and appear as if it is floating


The hook dancer

Our Neon area champion (Rosie) created this fish dancer on a hook

Size (to be added), made with 10mm and 8mm glass filled with Ne and HgAr

From 50K feet, how was it done?

  • As seen in the photos the pattern was created (backwards) where the order of the bends can be figured out along with how to bed the glass.
  • glass can be bent in 1 continuous section or in smaller sections that are welded/fused together.
  • the final pieces were mounted on acrylic


The Pink Pig

Another Rosie creation the Pink Pig

Size and other infor to be added

From 50K feet, how was it done?

  • It all starts with the pattern.  Sections can be bent individually and assembled at the end.
  • Undesirable sections can be painted (block out paint) to hide them where pieces connect.
    • Note the pigtail in the final that connects to the MOM.  Using the block-out paint, Rosie was able to mask the light from the connecting pieces.

We play on Wednesday nights at the Norwich site.  Please swing by or ask the artists for specifics about their pieces.

Giant Board Game Group Starts Building

Its always been a joke here at the Makerspace about how so many members use the lasers and 3D printers to make their own Settlers of Catan games.  A few months ago, I noticed that somebody was cutting out giant hexes on the BOSS laser for a larger Catan game, giving me an idea for a back yard Catan.   I mentioned this in the laser group, and the idea just exploded!  Multiple people expressed that they wanted to instead do a group project of having a GINORMOUS Settlers of Catan game.  After several weeks of meetings, we decided on hexes that are 3 ft across, making our entire board 30 ft.

In the last 2 weeks, we have begun building our prototype, and we are ready to start production of the remaining hexes.

We had to start out with cutting down a 2x6x10 board into 6 pieces and joining and plaining them to all be the same thickness

Greg Waldo then taught us how to use a table saw to cut the grooves into the top rather than using a router.  This made things much faster and accurate.   

We tried to use pocket hole screws, but they did not work very well.

In the end, we opted for a good old fashion glue up and finish nailing.


The goal for this project is to be able to have it finished in time for Milwaukee Makerfaire!  Stay tuned for more updates.  We are always looking for more people to join us, every Monday!  Upcoming Mondays we will be meeting at Norwich to use the Norwich woodshop!

Iron Casting: Spring Iron Pour

The Casting Area is running another Iron Pour.

This Event will be open to participants, Members and Non-Members.

Please contact Dave directly if you are a Visiting Artist/Non-member and need studio time to make your own artist mold. All non-members must sign the “Iron Casting Waiver” to participate.

Studio Time is to be scheduled in advance. If you plan on bringing a mold or making a mold all weights must be estimated and metal must be broken by said attendee. If you are unable to break iron due to medical reasons please reach out to Dave.  

Resin-bonded sand molds are weighed before they get to the pour floor. 

Artist Tile and Doodle Bowl Workshops:

Saturday 03-23-24 @ 12:30-3:30
Sunday 04-07-24 @ 12:30-3:30
Saturday 04-20-24 @ 12:30-3:30

Saturday April 27th 
We are planning to have the Safety Meeting at noon. If you plan on participating on the pour floor, show up to the safety meeting and sign the waiver, it’s required. Observation will be available from the north side of the pour floor. Observation will only be accessible from Norwich Ave. The proposed Schedule is the following:

8:00am Pour floor setup (leveling and placing molds)
9:00am Scratch blocks & Doodle Bowls available for sale.

10:30am burn-in (preheat furnace with immersion burner forced air and natural gas) 

12:00 safety meeting Immediately after the safety meeting, we go on blast.

*Going on Blast – removing immersion burner and attaching Blower to the furnace and entirely running of forced air and Coke Start charging iron/coke as it settles

1:00pm Should have first tap, Tapping every 13 minutes. 

4:00pm Drop bottom when all molds are filled – brief clean up.


Sunday, April 28th 

10:00am Clean-up and devesting molds:

Clean-up is required if you have an artist mold on the pour floor. All Artist Tiles/Doodle Bowls will be out on display for pickup. No additional payment is required for these items. For Artist Molds, gating and pour cups may be cut off and thrown in the iron pile.

Please weigh your castings and provide payment in the donation bin or via Wild Aprocot Please Refer to the rates section for pricing

Contact Dave for more information at or via cell phone 4142150499