Detail of alphabet magnets

A new blog for the new year

A new blog for the new year.  Why not?  Quite unexpectedly, 2011 turned out to be the year of the magnet.  Although I have been making fridge magnets from my photographs for about five years now, the addition of alphabet magnets really clicked.

The idea came to me at an otherwise unremarkable – actually quite dismal – art fair. In fact, the only show where I did not sell a single thing.  It was at a fund-raising event for a local school and the idea was to offer parents a fun night out – food, drink, live music, and the opportunity to check out the wares from selected fine arts and craft vendors.  Just a few hours on a Saturday night in November.

Detail of alphabet magnets

Some of my handmade magnets showing letters from my photos of neon signs

It seemed like a good idea.  The school was close to home in an art-friendly community. Easy set-up, convenient parking, and free food.  The downside, which quickly became obvious as the parents started arriving, was that no one came to the event to shop.  They came to socialize.  And the artisans, who paid for the opportunity to participate by the way, were just part of the background.

So as I said, that turned out to be my first (and thankfully only) zero-revenue event.  But a casual conversation with someone looking at my photos from the Las Vegas Neon Boneyard sparked an idea – and my alphabet magnets were born.

I looked through my archives to see how many photos of neon signs had letters that would translate into magnets.  And then I hit the streets, taking photographs of neon signs in Boston and beyond, trying to complete the alphabet.

By the time Holly Fair rolled around a month later, I had a full alphabet and I knew I was onto something.

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