Roxy Rose

the ROXY ROSE / neo-girl story

In the 1930s Roxys grandfather Rio Score Sr learned the art of neon glass blowing from two of the cornerstone companies of the neon industry. Federal Sign and QRS Neon. Rio was noticed as one of the most efficient glassblowers, and was therefor promoted to efficiency expert in the neon department. In 1946 Rio Score moved to Glendale California and started a company by the name of Alert Lite Neon. In 1950 Roxys father Rio Score Jr joined the team of glass blowers at alert Lite Neon. Alert Lite Neon developed a reputation of not only producing high-quality neon, but they did so in a very fast and efficient manner. Rio Score Junior had five children, four of which joined the crew at Alert Lite Neon as glass blowers. Roxy, at at age 15 dropped out of school to become a glass blower. Though Roxy had been coming into her fathers neon shop well before that. She started working there full time.

Roxy; “ I remember spending days at my fathers neon shop sitting on a milk, crate, watching him, bend, “walks” and “don’t “walks for pedestrian, crosswalk signs. The benches were always filled with hundreds of pedestrian crosswalk, neon signs. So it wasn’t surprising to me when I started as an apprentice neon glassblower that one of my first jobs would be neon crosswalk signs. And it wasn’t just an order of 10 or 20. My first order I think was 700 green neon walk signs, and that was how I started my journey as a neon glassblower in 1978.” Roxy Rose developed a reputation as one of the best glassblowers in the company and after years was thought of as one of the best in the neon industry. Over the years Roxy has worked with countless artists, musicians and movies stars. you name it. If it’s neon you can bet Roxy has done it. From neon that fits into the palm of your hand to neon that has had to be airlifted by helicopter to its destination

Roxy; “I love hearing people talk about famous neon pieces in movies. Such as the “ Titty Twister in “From Dusk till Dawn” or the Porky’s movies and they get so excited when I tell them “We did that”. But what people don’t realize is that all through the decades neon was used as a lighting medium behind the scenes. For instance, the starship enterprise on Star Trek the spaceship on Close Encounters and Star Wars. All these sets had lots and lots of neon. Also the Academy Awards the Emmys and all those types of shows were usually lit with neon and our company Alert Lite was responsible for most of it.”

It’s been almost 45 years since Roxy stated her neon journey and she is still blowing glass daily. Roxy; I feel best when I’m in the fires. I guess part of that is due to my arthritis. The heat makes my hands feel better. The other part that keeps me going is that I feel like it’s my time to give back to this most honorable trade and hand it down to others.”

These days Roxy likes to devote her time to making neon art as well as teaching others old school neon glassblowing. She has taught neon workshops in the Lili Lakich studio as well as Mona, (the Museum of Neon Art). It was at these studios that she realized the the younger generation had a deep desire to learn real old school glassblowing but at the time no one was offering any intensive old school glassblowing courses. So there was only one choice and that was to open the Neon Preservation society . A place that is all about neon. The preservation of it and a place to learn the old school techniques of neon glassblowing that were taught to her by her grandfather. Roxy; “ I like teaching neon to others and I find the students excitement makes me excited. The classes are lots of fun but I feel I need to make sure that those that express a desire to learn not only walk away having had a fun time but also an experience of a lifetime knowing what life might be like as a neon glass blower.”

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