TERESA ESCOBAR: SHE BENDSSydney Cummings
Teresa Escobar is no stranger to the neon world; she’s been bending glass for seven years now.
Her favorite thing is lighting up her creation for the first time.
“You always have a pretty solid idea of how is going to look at the end, but once it’s on it is ohhh-so-magical!” she said. “I do love the zen space that I enter when I’m holding the glass directly on the fire.”
Teresa has lived in New York for a little over a decade now, it’s the place she first learned the basics of neon. Her first neon workshop was in Brooklyn with David Ablon with Ablon Technologies.
“I was stunned by how fast he bends; every single time I’m bending he teaches me something and drops knowledge to me.”
Another supportive person in her career has been Michael Flechtner, a neon artist who is a member at the Museum of Neon Art (MONA).
“Michael has always told me that he believes in me,” she said. “He kept me motivated and was being supportive ever since I started making my own pieces.”
Her go-to Abitech product is the transformers from Ventex Technology.
Teresa has several different styles she likes to entertain with her work.
“The first is the feminine and sensual type of work where I create female bodies, shapes and female breasts to celebrate diversity. Second is themes—it’s the one where I take you to the beach and show you how I feel about life in some words, waves, roses, and sometimes abstract lines I like to call “horizons”. The third style is fun, sarcastic and a homage to my favorite show ‘Seinfeld’.”
Her favorite pieces to date are “She Cries Part II” and ” I blame the moon” –both were inspired by feelings and meaningful stories.
THE STORY OF “I BLAME THE MOON”
On the way to Laguna Beach for New Years, with only a small bag, camera and her neon piece wrapped in her hands, a TSA employee placed her neon on the belt to go through security, and in the process broke the piece. Many tears later she realized she didn’t want to deal with the process of creating a claim with TSA, she called Michael Fletcher as soon as she landed at LAX. She asked for assistance to fix the rose, in which he was able to thankfully.
“This rose needed to come back to life no matter what—I had to save it,” she said. “If you look closely, the leaf is a slightly different white than the rest of them and I absolutely love it. Also that accident just made me visit my good friend who I admire much.”
The rose miraculously made it to the beach and on installation day the moon was full. She never intended for the rose to be called “I blame the moon” but if felt very fitting that night.
“It [the moon] was so incredible to watch that I decided to blame the moon for all of the mess I did, I promised myself I was going to be better and recover just the way the rose did.”
“I feel valued and supported as part of “She Bends”, I admire the community’s passion to educate people about neon art and everything that comes around the craft,” Teresa said.
She thanks Meryl and Kelsey for the community they have built and their continuous hard work in sharing the message to the world.
“Even though we don’t see each other that often because we live in different parts of the world, I know we’re just a message away if we need anything. We are all there for each other—I’m proud of everyone [in the community] and I love seeing their work come to life.”
ADVICE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
“Future benders, you’re going to break a lot of glass and is going to take time and patience for you to get good at it,” she said. “But you got to keep it going because at the end of the process when you’re about to light up your piece it is so worth it! Believe in your design and allow yourself to make changes or modify the bend if you have to, this is your art and it’s your choice. Also, playing with fire, glass and noble glasses is dope! I’m here for all of you if you need any advice.”
Find Teresa on Instagram to follow her upcoming shows and support her art at @terebomba.