The wastness of possibilities of shapes and sizes attainable through neon is truly astounding and a key aspect driving our passion for this medium. But there is one restriction: the diameter of the glass tube. In order for the neon gas to pass uniformly through the tubes and to shine smoothly and steadily, the glass has to maintain a constant diameter.
There is, however, one brave designer who has challenged this rule by creating the world’s first irregularly shaped neon tubes. In a series she named ‘Phenomenon’ Pieke Bergmans varied the diameter of the tubes in what can best be described as organic shapes, which resulted in the neon (actually Argon since they are blue) fading and almost vanishing in the wider areas of the tubes. Meaning that the gas only shines bright when it has a high degree of compression. The effect is a paintbrush-like trait and a mysterious glow as the tubes coil onto themselves in irregular shapes.
Bergmans is original from the Netherlands and currently works across her two studios in Amsterdam and Milan. Though she studied and defines herself as a designer, her work borders on art as she experiments with materials such as glass, plastic and other synthetics. She has held solo exhibitions in Miami, Milan, Paris, Sao Paulo and more.
In a truly compelling simile, she defines her work and herself as a virus. She says that manipulating standard production processes is by all means viral behaviour. In general mass production, a single form is endlessly and perfectly multiplied like a healthy cell - so that the thwarting and distorting the process a to create a maybe dysfunctional but beautiful and fascinating result, really does mimic the pathogenic behaviour of a virus.
We are utterly captivated by Bergman’s malfunctioning creations and love having had a peek in just how much potential there is to be discovered in neon!