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Seattle Artist Documentary Shoot at Metal Studio in Ballard

Posted by Leonard on December, 15, 2015

I’ve been working on a short documentary promotional piece with Seattle based visual artist Jonathan Clarren. He approached me with an interest in showcasing his work, specifically his sculpture pieces. The idea was a documentary short for architects, designers and developers in the planning stages of designing buildings and both interior and exterior spaces to have an opportunity to learn about his work, his process, and the materials he creates with. His goal is to connect with the right people, to get commissioned to build large scale art installations.

At first, we did a series of shoots at his home studio, where he works with wood, glass, paints on large canvases and smaller metal projects. We also shot at a metal studio at the soon to be demolished Fenpro Building in Ballard where he’s piecing together a huge metal sphere that will hang on the side of a building. The building is part of a construction trend in Ballard, and will be replaced by a $50 million+ Nordic Heritage Museum. It was amazing being in a hive of studios that will soon cease to exist, erasing a piece of Ballard art history and an enclave of industrial creativity. Jon has been working with Denny in this metal studio over the years to produce a variety of large scale metal sculptures he’s created.

The studio was an incredibly visually rich environment, with metal pieces strewn about, sparks flying, gritty tools everywhere, and the freedom to climb around and get unique angles as they worked their craft. Denny was rocking the metal lathe, and Jon was standing on top of a table, assembling the half sphere comprised of strips of elaborately carved metal in his signature keyhole pattern (see video below).


This is a short video I made of Jon doddling in this signature style. Eventually these patterns get translated into materials that get sculpted into original pieces.




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