At Bose, we believe sound has power. The power to inspire, the power to motivate, the power to transform. We believe music not only emboldens us to follow our passions, but it also helps us to grow them. That’s why we’re celebrating those who use music to keep pushing and featuring their stories. In this article, we talk with Leticia Maldonado about what neon glass blowing means to her and how music helps take it to another level.
Leticia Maldonado is a multimedia artist who specializes in neon glass, a media which allured her from a young age. “I grew up in Las Vegas,” Leticia says. “I’ve always been fascinated with neon and the glowing lights. My background is in illustration. And after a while, it occurred to me that neon was essentially like illustration, but in fire, and that was very attractive to me.”
Leticia’s work ranges from metaphorical self-portraits to neon sculptures honoring Las Vegas showgirls. The work that goes into each piece brings together many elements and highly technical skills Leticia has perfected over the years.
“It all starts with a drawing and a design,” Leticia says. “Then you move into actual glasswork. When you’re processing, you’re using high voltage to burn out any impurities inside the glass. Then you have to create a vacuum inside the unit and process it for illumination. So you’re at less than atmospheric pressure, and you’re using noble gases. You insert those in the tube. There’s six different noble gases that are commonly used. Once the gas is inside, you introduce electricity. And as the electricity moves through this super specialized chamber, it disrupts the photons inside and creates illumination. Then there’s also the fabrication of the backgrounds, which could be working with wood or plexiglass. So it brings together like a lot of different elements to make a finished piece.”
For Leticia, it’s not just about drowning out the distractions around her; it’s about tapping into something deeper. “When I’ve got the right song on, it helps me achieve the right mental space to really connect with my medium, and I get to be in that flow state” Leticia says. “It’s just a super satisfying feeling, like the medium in front of me is reflecting how I feel on the inside. And I’m not looking at my piece thinking that I wish something was different. It’s like I’m having a conversation with what I’m doing. And the medium is reflecting back at me what I’m trying to say. That’s a super satisfying place and definitely music helps me get to that spot. I’ll find the jam for the day, and I’ll listen to it on repeat, so that I don’t disrupt what I’m doing. I might hear that one song like 30 times, and that’s fine.”