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Cyber Smiths Int.
Volume 34 - Page 2 of 37 July 7, 2004
Stephen Bondi
Passes Sunday, May 30, 2004

From Dona Meilach Friday, June 04, 2004 6:15 PM

Here are 3 (one at left) of the last images Stephen Bondi sent to me before his final surgery. He said the surgery was like going into uncharted waters...not like the Bermuda Triangle. They are from his research of Carlo Rizzarda. He was fascinated by the work of the early Italian Art Nouveau and Art Deco ironworkers.

Stephen's energy and talents were snuffed out long before they should have been. His own work, done is his flowering years was a joy to study; his working the metal as though it was clay in his hands, his joinery, and forms were all uniquely his.

Anyone who saw him, worked with him at the Flagstaff ABANA Conference couldn't help but be impressed by his hosting and translation of the Italian artists. He was exhausted but never complained. And it was 30 years ago, when I wrote my first ironwork book, that Stephan introduced me to Simon Benetton. We have all kept in touch ever since. I shall miss Stephan, . . . Continued
From Toby Hickman Monday, June 07, 2004 10:25 AM

My friend Stephen Bondi is finally dead. I say finally because Stephen had kept death at armís length for the past twenty years. The tumor that grew around Stephenís brain stem impinged upon many important glands that are in the center of the skull and impeded his hormone balance, which had a disastrous effect throughout his body. The tumor also eventually cost him his eyesight. And last of all his indomitable will to live.

The following paragraph is from a recommendation I wrote for Stephen in 1996. The over-the-top tone is for the benefit of the grant committee.

ďIn the late 1960's and the early 1970's there was a spontaneous rekindling of the smiths' fires all around the United States. Young men and women were drawn to this "dying art" and many, myself included, began to follow the trade as a livelihood. The gap between the time when this kind of work had last flourished and when it was again taken up was long enough for most of the masters to have died off. We were left with a thin heritage: the gothic revival of Samuel Yellin and colonial reproduction. Then along came Stephen Bondi, who had been to Italy and had worked in a "modern" shop. He . . . Continued
Stephen Bondi Remembered by Russell Jaqua, Saturday, June 05, 2004 5:35 PM

With Stephen Bondiís passing on Sunday, May 30, 2004, it could be said that his death was just another example of Steve being ahead of his time. Thirty-eight years ago at Alma College in Alma, Michigan, his trailblazing nature was already in full gear. It was Steve who introduced me, a Motown boy, to the Jefferson Airplane, Jim Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead, long before anybody in Michigan had heard of any of them. And so it went.

It may seem unlikely that two college buddies unaware of metal would ultimately dedicate their lives to the same arts craft. But I think, in a way, this was inevitable given Steveís force of personality. Steve saw to it that I got a handle on life after I returned from Viet Nam. By 1970, . . . Continued
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