Thursday, March 13, 2014

Roadhouse Relics

Iconic Signage Glowing with Classic Americana Flair.
Shining a Light on Vintage, Pop Culture Inspired Neon.

Artist: Todd Sanders
Expertise: Neon Sign Sculpture
Additional Talents: Typography / Collecting / Photo Shoots
Materials: Metal, Neon, Paint, Light Bulbs, Sketch Pad & Pencil
Style: Vintage & Weathered / (Surprisingly) Hand Made
Inspiration: Classic Americana & Lightup Signage
Subject Matter: Words & Names, Symbols, Arrows
Common Creations: Restaurant Signs & Decor / Movie Props
Shop Offline: 1720 S. First Street, Austin, Texas 78704
Social Media: [Facebook]  [Twitter]  [Pinterest]  [Instagram]
Home Base: Austin, TX
Spotted At: WEST Austin Studio Tour

Roadhouse Relics, located in the heart of one of Austin's most culturally rich neighborhoods, is a much loved icon. The "Welcome to Austin" mural painted on the side of the building is known far and wide, a common backdrop for many professional and personal photo shoots. I bet you didn't know that what's inside this artist's studio and out in his backyard make for equally fun portrait props, and they are commonly rented out as such. With a vast and constantly growing collection of large scale objects from decades past, shop owner Todd Saunders has many vintage options to offer photographers and movie makers. But his representations of classic Americana are also great inspiration for his own work. With a love of 50's era iconography and hands on metal work, this artist creates bright and brilliant neon signs reminiscent of his favorite time period. Each piece is custom and one-of-a-kind, whether it's destined to appear on a movie set or in a collector's home for display. From "low tech" pencil and paper sketches, Todd builds out the metal base. With stylized application of paint and various weathering techniques, he is able to achieve a rustic look as if the sign actually came from the decade it harkens back to. The final steps is to add the neon light bulb tubing. With 20 years experience under his belt, Todd is a pro with a mission of preserving neon signage art, but with his own "Modern Vintage" flair.

Photography by Annie Winsett