About the Artist
I'm Cassandra Tondro, and my deepest passion is creating exciting art using eco-friendly materials. I strive to craft a visual message of beauty, spirit and love, and I'm committed to the highest standards so that every finished piece is a sensory delight.
Why Sustainable Art?
Like many artists I was trained to use traditional materials for my art -- oils and acrylics for painting, and commercial dyes for fiber art. These products give us the bright colors that we like, but they come at a cost. They are made with synthetic pigments, plastics and chemicals that are detrimental and sometimes toxic to people and the planet.
With a growing concern about the environment, I felt uneasy using harmful materials for my art, and looked for healthier alternatives. I stumbled upon leftover house paint, available for free from some recycling centers as well as from numerous acquaintances and friends. By repurposing leftover house paint for my art, I'm using materials that would otherwise go to waste.
Going Deeper Into Natural Materials
I was familiar with the traditional process of using natural dyes to color cloth, and experiments with leaves lead to the development of my leaf prints, which are created by gathering fallen leaves, pressing them against watercolor paper, and steaming a bundle of paper and leaves over simmering water. The colors and patterns of the leaves transfer to the paper. No inks, dyes, or paints are used -- just the colors from the plants themselves.
My inspiration for this work is the materials. I'm dedicated to the exploration of making interesting art with the discarded and natural materials that are available to me. By repurposing materials for my work, my art opens a larger conversation about consumption, conservation and efforts to revitalize and restore our planet.