“For me, a vessel contains space. In a sense, a vessel is a ‘history of my breath’:
it holds the volume within.”
Thus Sonja Blomdahl, our “Artist of the Month”, begins to describe the intimacy of her creative process. “If I have done things correctly, the curve of the piece is continuous, the shape is full, the opening confident.”
Sonja is well known for the beautiful, classically voluptuous forms of her work, which embody a timeless aesthetic and sense of proportion. “As a human being, scale and proportion come from my body. In the past several years, the shape of my pieces has undergone a change … The newer pieces in particular seem to reference the human form.”
Her use of layered, luminous color is also a crucial signature aspect of her
work. “Color is often the ‘joy’ of making the piece” she says.
Sonja Blomdahl’s journey with glassblowing began in 1972 when, during a life drawing class at the Massachusetts College of Art, she was distracted from her efforts by the sound of laughter and noise eminating from another floor . Propelled by curiosity, she followed the noise to the glass shop, where she saw glass being blown for the first time, and was immediately attracted to it.
After receiving her BFA from Mass College of Art, she attended the renowned Orrefors Glass School in Sweden. After ten years of traveling and studying the fundamentals of glassblowing in a variety of production jobs, Sonja decided to build her own studio in Seattle in 1983, which is still in operation. “I was one of the first independent glassblowing studios in Seattle”, Sonja says, “and consequently I had to build most of the equipment myself. There are many kinks to work out, and even today it requires constant maintenance and rebuilding.” On the other hand, “Having a studio allowed me for the first time to seriously develop my own work. I take each piece myself, from start to finish, with the help of an assistant.”
Sonja has been on the faculty at the Haystack Mountain School, the Pilchuck Glass School, and presently serves on both the Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees at the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. Her works can be viewed in many Museum Collections world wide, including the American Craft Museum, the Corning Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Renwick Gallery, and the White House Collection of American Craft.
“Sonja sees her vessels as symbols of wholeness and balance … She puts heart and soul into making her work, and (into) her efforts to create a perfect balance of color and form.” – Dan Klein
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