Northwest glass pioneer Sonja Blomdahl as the final interview for the Painted in the Desert movie

It was bittersweet, our last interview for the Painted in the Desert film. We visited my step-mom Sonja Blomdahl in her hilltop Seattle home, having our final conversation about what it really means to dedicate your life to being an artist. Sonja’s blown vessels and stained glass installations glow with a luminous  beauty that vibrates within your soul. She is Scandinavian, and brings together her master level skills in the glass medium with her spare and zen-like refined sense of design. I am in LOVE with her work. They are like having a centerpiece of glowing vitality in your home, restful and inspiring at the same time, an art piece that sings to the viewer.

With any large project, you start with a vision in mind, and then it becomes its own creation. Its like having children, you put together the basic building blocks for their evolution, but how they actually turn out has a lot to do with their own destinies. When we began the movie MK and I could not have anticipated how powerful and intimate our interviews with the glass artists I grew up with would be. Over and over again we walked into these artists lives that I had known since I was a child, and a natural tenderness and connection flowed forth throughout the conversations.

We chose each of the artist because they are my father’s best friends and I felt such a sweet relationship with each of them over the years, but we could not have orchestrated a more wonderful series of musing on the meaning of life as an artist. The candid wisdom that each of the creators shared with us is a true treasure, an authentic and rich view into what it has meant to spend the last 40 years following their visions. As an upcoming artist myself, it has been the greatest gift to be welcomed into the tribe, and offered the insights of a life-long passion for individuality and artistic exploration.

MK is now busy going through the massive amount of material we have, and as we joke, “we have too much good stuff.” What a great problem to have. We shall keep you posted on how the process evolves, and look forward to sharing this magical journey into the spirit of artists that has been given to us to steward. We are blessed with work we love.

My father Dick Weiss, Me, Sonja, and my not so little brother Ray