Recently, I finished the project of changing the organization and storage of my neon patterns. I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into when I started and it ended up taking me about 7 months to get it done. Turns out, after making neon in my studio for 22 years, I had accumulated quite a few! I always stored my patterns rolled up with the job name written on the outside, in this weird, triangular cubby in my studio.

Blurry photo showing my old pattern storage

It worked okay for a few years when I didn’t have as many, but eventually, it became cluttered and hard to quickly find the pattern I was looking for. Last fall in a moment of reorganizing my studio to make room for a bunch of stuff I’d recently acquired at an estate sale, I decided it was time to find a new place for my patterns and also a new method of storing them because the paper rolls just weren’t working for me anymore. And come to think of it, it was never a good storage system considering the type of projects I do, which are primarily smaller neon signs and artwork. I think I started storing my patterns rolled in the first place because it was familiar. I worked as a neon bender for wholesale sign shops before I opened my neon studio and the pattern storage method in these shops was always rolled, probably because the patterns were usually from channel letters or large signs which meant they were big and long, so the rolled-up method worked well. But not for my patterns. Flat and folded. That’s what I needed. And with tabs, so I can see the pattern name at a quick glance. And so began the many months-long processes of sorting, unrolling, trimming, folding, and labeling all my patterns.

I only worked on it in small clips of time here and there and in between projects so it took a while but now it’s finally done.

Stored neatly under my burn-in table.

Patterns organized! What do you think?