Neon Benders Pi Party in Brooklyn
By Kayla Kling, Content Specialist
On September 8, over 30 neon benders gathered in Brooklyn to bend neon numbers, which hasn’t happened in 20-something years.
It all started with Joey Gerhart, a tube-bender based out of Birmingham, Alabama, who wanted to display neon color options to clients in a unique way. He ultimately decided on bending differently colored neon numbers in pi (3.14159265… etc.).
What started out as a one-man project turned into a collaborative effort with other neon benders Gerhart has met over the years. Soon, others heard about this project (check out his interview with Sign & Digital Graphics about the project) and wanted in.
So the idea behind the Brooklyn gathering was simple: Come bend a piece of the (neon) pi!
Ventex General Manager Morgan Crook started brainstorming with Gerhart about where to host, how to get the word out, etc. Enter David and Kat Ablon of Ablon Technologies, who graciously volunteered to play hosts, and Kenny Greenberg and Tom Unger of Krypton Neon, who helped spread the word.
Initially, we weren’t sure how many along the East Coast would make the trek upstate, but we were all pleasantly surprised with the response. While many benders were from New York, we had benders from as far away as Texas, including Big Dog Neon and Ion Art!
Women benders were also at the event, who, as one neon party attendee aptly pointed out, are “killing it right now.” Between Kate Hush’s neon lair (see photos of her and Dana Caputo’s work below), Stephanie Lifshutz‘s show opening down the street on Governors Island, and Teresa Escobar, Eve Hoyt and Danielle James all bending neon together, it was great to see not only young women enjoying the craft but also networking with other female benders in what has traditionally been a male-dominated profession.
As the party wound down, everyone came to a consensus: Let’s agree that we won’t wait another 20 years to organize a neon party. (Oh, and T-shirts are a must next time!)
Check out the two cold cathode technique videos we shot during the party. Also be sure to connect with the attendees via Instagram or their websites.
Co-Hosts/Sponsors Who Made It Possible
A huge thank-you goes to our generous co-hosts and sponsors:
- David Ablon – @davidablon, owner of @brooklynglass and @precisionneon and co-owner of Ablon Technologies
- Kat Ablon – co-owner of Ablon Technologies
- Morgan Crook – @buckygiles, General Manager & Tech Support for @ventextechnology
- Joey Gerhart – @joseph.gerhart
- Kenny Greenberg – @kryptonneon
- Tom Unger – Krypton Neon
Neon Pi Party Attendees
- Chris Biebel
- Tom Biebel
- Gregg Brenner – @greggneon
- Clare Brew – One Five Six
- Fred Caplan – Elm City Neon
- Dana Caputo – @dana.caputo – there in spirit (check out photos of her work in the gallery below)
- Stephen Conlon – @manhattan_neon
- Clif Eddens – @random_neon_llc
- Teresa Escobar – @terebomba
- Chris Freeman – Chris Freeman Designs
- Sharon Keshishian – @ion_art_atx
- Eve Hoyt – @eveningneon
- Kate Hush – @katehush
- Danielle James – @d_j_neon
- Stephanie Lifshutz – @stephanie_sara_lif
- Donnie Myers – @fashionset
- Patrick Nash – @pndneon
- Jake Rosenfield – Atlantic Neon
- Deb Slatkin – Neonworks
- Kirk Tunningley – @bigdogneon
- George Vidas – @georgevidas
- Joe Walsh – Voltarc
- Meg Wenzel
- Mark Westphal – @mark.westphal
- Tom Zickuhr – @zickuhr_69
This party was a blast to be a part of! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet everyone. If you notice any attendees missing, please email me, and I will add them.
Check out the photos!
If you click on the photo, the file name will show who the artist is. If there are any artist corrections/additions, please email me.