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Taming Lightning

Jun 17, 2021

On today’s podcast  we have Michael Flechtner! 
As a child Michael Flechtner was fascinated with electricity, fire and colored light of all kinds.  It could be the stained glass windows at church, his father testing the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve and the neon signage in his home town…adorning shop windows and local drive-ins and movie theatres.


With Flechtner’s background in sculpture(BFA, MFA) , as he began to learn how to bend neon tubes, it became clear to him through literally some “wrong turns” that he would be able to create 3 dimensional neon forms in what is primarily  considered a 2 dimensional medium. He believes he has a “gift” that enables him to be able to visualize the finished work and then to create patterns, jigs, techniques and other devices in order to create these very “in the round” neon artworks.  

Michael would say “I knew that it was very important to develop sound bending skills and techniques so that my work would survive, handling, bombarding, and finally assembly and installation.”

And thus over the years, he’s created a number of forms in various sizes that include sea life, aircrafts, radios, cameras, etc.  The smallest 3D plane he’s made has a 6 inch wingspan and the largest 3D shark 7 long long. Flechtner says “It is surprising to me…as well as others how strong these fragile constructions really are”.

Note for context this episode was recorded in early June of 2020, it seems so far away, with all that’s happened in between. Let’s get right to it!



ig: @taminglightning