ROXY ROSE: SHE BENDSSydney Cummings
She was born around neon, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she was blowing glass before she started talking—yes you guessed it we are talking about Roxy Rose.
HOW IT STARTED
Roxy’s grandfather started a neon manufacturing company back in 1946 in Glendale, CA so needless to say, she knows the ins and outs of the neon world. She started glassblowing full time in 1978, giving her 40+ years of experience in this world.
“My favorite aspect of neon is that the possibilities are endless,” Roxy said. “While it may be true that a ‘neon sign is a neon sign’ this imprisoned plasma is much more than a sign. It’s painting with light and when you learn to make the glass and plasma your servant, you become the master of light and color.”
Being that her grandfather was the one to introduce her to neon, he has been very influential in her neon journey. He learned his craft in Chicago in the late thirties and passed on the family tradition of his love for fire and creating something special with glass.
“I was the last person he was able to pass on his knowledge of old-school neon glassblowing to,” Roxy said. “To this day when I’m in the fires, I still hear him talking to me and instructing me about the importance of quality work(woman)ship.”
“My family goes way back to the infancy of neon and when neon and neon-related products were a mainstay of a sign supply house. Nowadays, supply houses have scaled back on the neon supplies they stock. But Abitech has scaled up their supply on hand and is always looking for feedback as to how they can improve their product inventory. It’s nice to know I can usually find the glass I need and not have to special order it.”
Roxy’s work stems from personal experiences so she explains that all her creations are a tribute to love, Torrance, and acceptance.
“Being an out and open transgender activist, I have a lot to say on the subject, and neon art is the perfect platform to do it,” Roxy said. “She Bends has helped to empower female, transgender, non-binary and queer people to venture into this art form that may have been intimidated by previously.”
When asked about her favorite piece that she has made, she responded that her favorite was yet to come. One of her latest works is shown below, Lady Liberty, a metal sculpture on a rotating platform, standing over nine feet tall, adorned with neon depicting, all of what she stands for.
“God, Country, and Hot Glass” (pictured below) was inspired by Roxy’s family business and deep roots in religion. She took the Bible, the Koran, and the Jewish scriptures and laid them on the American flag. She then took the hot neon and heated it, then laid it over top of the books and let the hot glass burn into them.
Roxy is happy to break away from the old-school mindset of keeping tricks and techniques as trade secrets and lives with the hope that she can share her knowledge and all she’s learned with young glass blowers.
“A guy said to me once:
“Hey Roxy. You seem like an interesting person. What do you do for work?”
I replied, “I’m a neon glass blower.”
He said, “Oh that’s cool. What do you do for fun?”
I replied, “I blow glass.”
He said, “Okay but when you’re not blowing glass what do you do?”
“I teach others to blow glass.”
HOW TO SUPPORT
She has an upcoming show at the Museum Of Neon Art in Glendale California, stay tuned to her social and website for the date – follow her at @neogirlneon or visit neogirlneon.com