LETICIA MALDONADO: SHE BENDSSydney Cummings
Abitech is excited to be kicking off a new series, highlighting some amazing, inspiring artists from She Bends. These incredible women are some of the most talented visionaries of neon benders, and we are so honored to be a supplier of neon equipment to many of them.
HOW IT STARTED
The first artist we want to highlight is Leticia, Tiza for short. Tiza has been neon tubing for 8 years now, off and on. She has had her own studio for four years now and has been bending steadily since.
Tiza’s neon journey began at Lili Lakich’s design and fabrication workshop. She took the class a couple of times to learn the fundamentals of sign design and construction. Then, neon artist Michael Flechtner taught her how to bend glass. Tiza expressed her gratitude to both Lakich and Flechtner, for teaching her what she knows.
“ I feel super lucky to call Michael a friend and Mentor,” she said, “He is definitely the most influential person to me in this medium.”
In her off time, she loves going to the movies, gardening, reading, sewing, and drawing. With creative and hands-on hobbies like these, it’s no wonder Tiza is successful in what she does. Tiza connects logic and passion in how she talks about her love for neon.
“I love everything about it [neon].” Tiza said, “Working with neon encompasses so many other skills to put together a work from start to finish and all of it is super satisfying.”
Tiza is a valued customer of Abitech, and we have loved watching her career take off as well as supply her with the equipment that she needs.
“I pretty much get 100% of my neon supplies from Abitech. I love working in the smaller diameters of glass and experimenting with colors, and I appreciate that I can buy just a few sticks at a time, or what I need for a project instead of a whole case. I’m always checking to see what colors are in stock every time I go in. Even if I don’t need glass I just buy some anyways.”
In her work, Tiza uses biological shapes found in nature to express herself.
“My intention is to try and process the different layers of the human condition as woven through all of the different layers of personal worlds, by finding the threads of emotion and beauty that unite us and inspire compassion and empathy.”
Aside from the creativity, Tiza is in love with the tangible progress she can see in her glassworking career.
“I can look at older work and feel the difference in how I think about the glass now, versus how I thought about it then. I feel like It’s a combination of finely tuned motor skills, and small mental breakthroughs that allow progression.”
Pictured below is the artist’s favorite piece so far, a three-dimensional work called Ember/Armor. This was created for a group show whose theme was ‘war’, or ‘what would you bring into battle with you if you were going to war’ hosted at Tiza’s home gallery, Bermudez Projects.
“I struggled with this idea for a while and finally arrived at a cloak of compassion; something to protect one’s emotional body from committing atrocities that would blur the line between self and enemy. I chose roses for my pattern as I believe they represent compassion.”
Equipment: Roses are made entirely out of Uncoated Cobalt Blue Glass in 8mm, Powered by Ventex Transformers
Where can you see it: The Pittsburgh Glass Center through July 18th. It’s part of a group exhibition called LIT: Light in Transmission, curated by Percy Echols.
HOW TO SUPPORT:
Check out Tiza’s upcoming show “Autonoetic” July 10 to August 28 at Bermudez Projects in Cypress Park, CA. This is Tiza’s second solo show. See details below. The opening reception is Saturday, July 10th, from 6-9 pm. All are welcome, no RSVP necessary.
You can follow Tiza on Instagram at @leticiamaria to see her latest work!
Thank you to all who continue to support neon! Join us in a few weeks for our next She Bends neon artist.