Angela Bandelli at her studio on Railway Ave. where she is greeted by a lion with a street cleaner-brush mane.

Rusted parts given new life as art

Ashcroft artist Angela Bandelli talks about why she thinks rust is beautiful.

“I’ve always liked rusty,” says Ashcroft artist Angela Bandelli. “Rusty parts, lost parts, broken parts…”

Angela makes the most interesting art pieces out of rusted parts, driftwood, and other bits of discarded material. You can see some of the smaller ones in the Rolgear office on Railway Ave. where she and her husband Rob Suter work on their rachet screw drivers.

“Whenever I walk I scan,” she says. “If there is a piece of rust in town, I know where it is.”

Chances are no one else will see it, she says, because it’s just garbage.

“I have stashes here and there that I can go back to if I need something.”

One piece that she called “Grillo” was an old rusted, twisted piece of grill found on Evans Road near the bridge.

“I picked it up in my hands and it was there – a perfect elephant,” Angela says. “I just took away one wire.”

She says she holds a piece of rust in her hands, turning it,  and sometimes it comes alive. Sometimes it fits with other pieces she has at home.

It’s a certain angle, or proportion, or expression… “and just the way I see it.”

“I see more without looking,” she says, such as an odd shape in a rock.

Rob taught her how to weld so she can fasten the parts together, and helps her solve technical problems like how to mount a piece to a base.

Angela says she’s always drawn, painted and created. At one time she painted on silk, but rust started to capture her imagination after a friend in Switzerland showed her some pieces.

“I think sometimes people feel sorry for me,” she says, because perhaps they feel rust is negative. “And some people just get a good laugh.

Angela says she’d like to make bigger pieces, but doesn’t have the equipment. So she will keep creating with the little rusty parts that are just waiting for her to notice.

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