|B199 (LAPIS/CLEAR/TURQUOISE) (1999), BY SONJA BLOMDAHL|
ACQUIRED FROM WILLIAM TRAVER GALLERY, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, JANUARY 2000
HAND-BLOWN GLASS, 14" HIGH BY 10" IN DIAMETER, SIGNATURE ENGRAVED ON THE BASE BY THE ARTIST
The first place I saw a picture of Sonja Blomdahl's work was on the Internet, in a listing of the glass works in the White House Collection of American Crafts. I really liked the elegance of her works... vase forms with amazingly cool colors. I did some research and found one gallery, William Traver Gallery, that had a number of her works displayed online.
By an incredible coincidence, the gallery was just starting a show of her works... of the works in the show, this one is the one I liked best. I contacted the gallery and spoke with Dan Kany, who gave me quite a bit of information about the work. What I heard was enough to convince me to acquire it. I never saw the work in person before purchasing it... this is the first major work I've acquired essentially sight unseen.
When I received the work from the gallery in January 2000, it was even better in person than in the online picture. Works of this type are assembled from two or more bubbles of glass using a technique called incalmo. In this work, the upper section is turquoise in color and the lower section is lapis in color. The neck connecting the two sections is clear... it is designed to focus light entering the vase from the top into the lower section, causing it to glow from within. The coloring in this work is incredibly nice... Sonja is one of the best colorists in glass, and it really shows.
The name of this work, B199, tells you about when and where this work was made: The initial character, "B", tells you that the work is a bowl shape. The final two digits, "99", indicate that the work was made in 1999, and the intermediate digits indicate the production number for the year in which the work was made. In the case of this work, the number is "1"... this is the very first work Sonja produced in 1999. (Very cool! Since I acquired this work, I have since acquired more of Sonja's "Firsts"... B100, her first work of 2000, B101, her first work of 2001, and B102, her first work of 2002.)
It's amazing how different this work can appear under different lighting conditions. Because this work was made in early 1999, I like to think that the choice of cooler colors was inspired by winter... at any rate, this is a very fine example of hand-blown glass.
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