Artists come to trust Rednour. She walks over to a large piece by von Rydingsvard and points to her favorite section, covered in earthy greens, yellows, and reds. Von Rydingsvard, who is a frequent client, goes to the foundry to work on her own patinas with her assistant and Rednour. “She doesn’t really say what she wants, just what she doesn’t want,” Rednour said, noting that they don’t have an exact process, but rather a harmonious way of all working on the patina together.
In the early years, Rednour kept notebooks to track all of the art she’d patinated. Today, it can be found in art institutions around the world. She recalled that when her son finished his master’s degree in London, he traveled through Europe for a month, visiting museums and taking pictures of the sculptures she’d worked on. “He said, ‘I can go almost anywhere and find something that you worked on,’” she remembered. “That’s fun.”
Working with artists can be nerve-wracking, Rednour admitted; particularly in the present, when so much communication happens through emails and digital images—the back-and-forth can become frustrating. But over the years, she reflected, artists making technically challenging work, like Shapiro and Koons, have stretched the limits of what the foundry can do. “It’s kind of forcing you to be better,” she said, “and as much as it makes you crazy, you know you have to keep pushing and pushing.”
Ultimately, Polich Tallix is one giant, multifaceted artist studio. And while the big-name artists aren’t always around, there are always artists present.
From a tool cabinet, Rednour produced a catalog filled with images of her own artworks from over the years—like sculptures made from scrap metal covered in bright, swirling patinas. Before setting foot in the foundry, she’d only made a couple of artworks in her life. Upon entering this hive of creativity, with its many tools and processes, she hasn’t been able to stop. “That’s what happens when you work here,” she said.
Donahue has his own art practice in which he experiments with sand and the molding process that consumes him day after day. He estimated that all manner of artists and creatives—sculptors, photographers, glass blowers, woodworkers, ceramicists, jewelers, and more—have passed through the foundry over the years, drawn in by the creativity. Even those who don’t identify as artists—like Gunsch, who insists she’s an artisan—can’t help but try out the casting techniques. When you’re surrounded by so much art, it’s hard not to fall under creativity’s eternal spell.