ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester native Mike Battle is taking on a sweet project.
The artist created a replica of the iconic Donuts Delite bakery. Battle currently lives in California, but grew up in central New York and says this donut shop has special meaning.
“Donuts Delite is a donut shop that my grandfather used to take me to when I was really little because our family’s construction company used to be right down the street,” Battle said. “We would stop there every morning so that’s a very nostalgic place for me.”
The model is one of a dozen centerpieces that will illuminate the tables at Battle’s upcoming wedding. Each sign representing a location important to Battle and his fiancé.
“Most of the signs that are made are connected to my relationship to my fiancé in some way,” Battle said. “Instead of cut flowers or something like that, we wanted to do something that pays more homage to our interests.”
Battle, who is an animator by trade said he had to learn how to use Electroluminescent or E-L Wire to recreate the signature look — not an easy task.
“What’s really cool about it is that it glows 360,” Battle said. “The whole wire illuminates, almost the same idea as neon where you have something electrifying the phosphor in the wire to make it glow. It’s a very touchy material. I actually had to go back a couple of times to restring some of my earlier signs because I bent the wire too aggressively. Not knowing the limitations of it.”
He’s getting the hang of it, and Battle hopes to take on the Little Theatre and Hallman’s Chevrolet, now Spot Coffee. Paying homage to some of Rochester’s most notable neon signs.
“And I wanted to do the Eastman Theatre. They had a blade sign, a beautiful blade sign that was taken down in the ’70s, but they sent me photos for reference,” he said.
The plan is to finish 12 signs in California where the couple lives and drive them to Rochester for the wedding. He says if they survive the reception, they may be displayed at the Museum of Neon Art.
The wedding will be taking place in August.