May 2012: Mason Bondi & Amy Ruedinger

Amy Ruedinger is a multi-media artist currently working in raising copper bowls and lidded forms. She uses printmaking techniques to etch them. Handmade Buddhist Monk alms bowls inspired the bowls series. Her conceptual concerns are inner/outer, past/present, beliefs and balance. Using hammers and stakes to shape the flat metal into vessel forms, thousands of hammer blows, some hard some soft, create the final form. The sizes of the hammers utilized in these creations vary from delicate to heavy handed. The bowls have round bottoms to emphasis the delicate nature of balance. After creating the form, she uses printing techniques from etching (aquatint & hard ground) to further express the concept of each form. The final patinas are heat, chemical & sometimes 24K gold leaf. Recycling her copper etching plates, the past images are hammered away in the process of creating the present piece. The ‘lidded ones’ series is a group of raised vessels with free-form lids. They each have a different personality or character yet seem to be related and animated. More spontaneous by nature, the hammer marks are not smoothed over to allow the process to remain part of the final piece.

Mason Bondi works in oils on wood panels. As Bondi says, working on the wood panels “creates contrast between the unfinished state of the surface and the finished image. Also, there is a lack of control involved in the grain of the wood which can enhance the at times, overly controlled composition and rendering of the actual painted work. I have always liked paintings that are stark and simple, focusing on a single image or a clear interaction between figures inside the painting. Working on wood without detailed backgrounds allows me to highlight that simplicity and focus on the subject of the painting – it pulls a subject out its typical context, which I find freeing.” The subjects of his paintings are often people and animals he finds fascinating and beautiful. He also paints people falling, jumping, running, being chased. “I want to bring my own attention to things that are remarkable all on their own I find myself drawn more often to simple imagery in the blank and unimagined space of a wooden panel. When I do paint a background, I do them often as transparent washes – to suggest rather than define.”