Fireflies in a jar, at dusk – in neon

Update, November 2017:

Todd has made several more of these signs (they’re now priced at $8,500 apiece, dammit), and one has popped up in my new hometown! The Stella Hotel in Bryan opened in April 2017, and up on the wall in its Campfire restaurant blinks one of the pretty “Fireflies” signs that I love so much that I blogged about them back in 2011 (below). Back then, he was re-selling one he created for Miranda Lambert’s wedding at $3,000; since that’s still out of my price range, he let me take a photo of the sign in his shop window. That’s now framed and hangs on my living room wall 🙂

Original post:

Todd Sanders of Roadhouse Relics creates modern neon signs with the look of antiques, and he has kindly given permission for me to post this little clip of his piece called “Fireflies”:

The animated twinkling of the fireflies, the cool blue-green of the jar (just like an old Ball jar) — I loved this piece instantly when I drove past it the other day at dusk. The sign is five feet tall!  And dusk is the perfect time to see it, just like real fireflies.

And it turns out the piece has a pretty cool back-story, too: Sanders said he made this artwork and its twin for the wedding reception of country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, who got hitched May 14 at a ranch near Boerne. You can see one of the “Fireflies” signs glowing on the back left wall in this photo of the extremely funky-cool reception area, created by Junk Gypsy, designers based in Round Top. (And Aggies, whoop!)

The Junk Gypsy blog (which has many more gorgeous photos of the wedding setup) says the designers settled on a theme of “moonshine and mason jars, fireflies and pink guitars” to represent the couple. Sanders said the inspiration came from a Lambert song about treating love like fireflies in a jar — I think it must be her 2004 hit “Me and Charlie Talking”:

So you treat your love like a firefly,
like it only gets to shine for a little while
Catch it in a mason jar with holes in the top,
and run like hell to show it off

Junk Gypsy commissioned the neon works from him, then returned the pieces to him after the wedding, Sanders said. And thank goodness he put one up in his window for us to enjoy.

“I love them too,” Sanders said. “When I was a kid, we called them lightning bugs.”

Each of these two pieces is priced at $3,000, and even at that, I want to hang it in my living room where I could see it every day. Thank you, Mr. Sanders, for telling me about your artwork and letting me post the video, so others can see it twinkling too.

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