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Icatchers Neon







Icatchers neon




Darren West, artist and neon glass blower at Icatchers neon, talks to Digger about his work. Darren's latest additions to his portfolio include neon guitars and he has built up an impressive list of clients and collaborations as a result of his amazing bespoke neon artworks and sculptures.


Digger: Can you please tell us a little bit about your background and the background to Icatchers neon?

Darren: I trained as a neon glass blower over 25 years ago and my work was based on commercial signage which helped Icatchers grow into a successful business. Now my work is primarily based on bespoke art.

Digger: Why does neon hold such a fascination for us and why is it so evocative or retro, nostalgia and vintage?

Darren: Neon, which was first demonstrated in a modern form in December, 1910 by Georges Clause at the Paris Motor Show, was so eye-catching and enchanting. While they are used worldwide, neon signs were extremely popular in the United States from about 1920–1960. The installations in Times Square were famed, and there were nearly 2,000 small shops producing neon signs by 1940. Now, of course, people are so interested in retro and vintage styles that they want to preserve the old neon signs or design their own.

Digger:  What are your most popular lines and what sort of comments do you get from clients?

Darren: The most popular pieces I have produced are the slightly more illustrious and provocative work. After displaying this wall art within numerous galleries the comments are positive with an element of intrigue.






Digger: Icatchers are going to be appearing at Vintage Goodwood, albeit at the South Bank, in 2011. Can you tell us a little about that?

Darren: I will be exhibiting some art work which, through collaborating with Gary Hutchins, from Hutchins Guitars, we have produced. They are amazing examples with a modern twist to the guitar form resulting in a stunning, eye catching pieces. These are sure to light up any room with their unique glow and attention-grabbing themes, some of which are based around the vintage era.

Digger: The sculptures are amazing. What gives you the inspiration and where do you get the ideas?

Darren: My inspiration comes to me in many different forms. Music and the ‘MOD’ era being my first love. Many ideas are born from that.

Digger: What about the neon guitars - what are people saying about them and what sorts of people are buying them?

Darren: The Neon Guitars are really grabbing people's attention. The variety and possibilities for themes are endless. Superstars within the rock music world are already expressing an interest in perhaps acquiring their own personal neon guitar. 





Digger: If somebody is considering buying or investing in neon then what should they consider?

Darren: Initially the design of the piece is important and I produce my work to a very high standard and as near to the customer’s requirements as I possibly can. They need to have the right place to hang the art work or sign and they need to realise that this will last a very long time. So spending time on the initial plans will be paramount.

Digger: What gives you most pleasure about what you do?

Darren: I get my greatest pleasure from gathering people's thoughts and ideas and putting them into a design which will capture their hearts. To see the finished product hanging on the wall and the response from clients gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Digger: What are your plans for Icatchers in the future?

Darren: Icatchers is growing by the month and the introduction of Guitar Art is going to carry it to different heights. All the other art pieces and signage will continue to be a large part of Icatchers. And with mentions in magazines such as Vogue and Self build, a personal documentary being shown on cable TV, collaborations with Wayne Hemmingway and Milliner to the stars, Piers Atkinson, as well as guitar pieces commissioned by Gary Hutchins, the future for Icatchers neon is certainly very bright.








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