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John Ton

As a self-taught artist, John Ton has created his own mixed media technique, by using spent ammunition casings to produce art. “There is a mountain I often hike on near Reno, where I live, that is littered with shotgun shell cases. My first thoughts were that this unsightly litter might somehow be recycled; it then occurred to me that perhaps some form of art might be made from them. They have an apparently infinite variety of colors, and the casings that have weathered in the sun for a while can fade to a very interesting light blue, lavender and even white sometimes,” Ton says. He now collects bullet shells from public and “unsanctioned” ranges in Nevada and California and uses them to make “ammosaics,” with images reflecting the realities of accident victims, including those he meets as a volunteer at the V.A. Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno, Nevada.



44 x 20 in.

Mixed Media: Spent Ammunition Cases

This image, made of spent ammunition cases, depicts the “chronic patience required by a physically disabled person,” Ton says. It is his hope that those who view it will reflect on this patience, and gain some patience for themselves. “Regardless of where people stand politically on the gun issue, I want them to first see the beauty of the textures and patinas of the material I have chosen,” he says.