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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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New PP Seattle Channel Video on Local Sustainable Family Fishing Business

Posted by Leonard on May, 3, 2010

As I’ve frequented the Seattle farmer’s market scene over the past decade, I’d always seen Loki Fish Company and sometimes bought smoked salmon from them.  Since I moved to the Rainier Valley, Columbia City has been my market though my wife and I also like to go to West Seattle some times as well. At one point I signed up for Loki’s newsletter and began checking out their online store, then one day last year I approached Loki and asked them about their interest in having me produce some online videos for them in exchange for salmon.  As a small family business that was ecologically oriented and hyper local, with the desire to increase the visibility for online shoppers to find their smoked salmon and other awesome products, they immediately recognized the benefits both sharing their story and SEO (search engine optimization-wise) to be had by growing a video presence.

So Pete and Dylan came over to my studio one day to discuss the arrangement and the next week I was out with them on Puget Sound filming them fishing for salmon one fall night. Floating in Elliot Bay on a gorgeously clear late September afternoon into the evening, over a few beers and some salmon bellies, it came out that Dylan and I were both Pitzer College graduates which was another positive layer in the relationship. It was the first time I’d been on a boat in Puget Sound and also my first time on a small commercial fishing boat and it was wild.  We left Fishermen’s Terminal which Pete’s been fighting to preserve (discussed in the piece) around 4pm and returned some time around 3 AM, picking up Dylan along the way at Shilshole Bay Marina.  It was a great night.

Months later, I connected with Pete and Dylan who were on vacation together in Kathmandu at the same time I was there filming  stories for the Seattle Channel connecting Seattle and Nepal.  We had some great dinner with a Nepali father and son with deep connections to Pitzer, Nepali archeologist and scholar Mukunda Aryal and his son Trailokya who went to Pitzer as well. With The Seattle Channel’s focus on telling local green stories, profiling Loki in this piece was an easy choice, with a long history of local involvement, keen insight into regional environmental issues related to the ocean and beyond, and much more as Pete is also an anthropology professor at Seattle Central Community College (great link to how Pete’s students feel about his classes). So the piece uses some of the material I shot back working on the profiles for the Loki website combined with some new interview footage with Pete and archival footage from BJ Bullert’s 2001 documentary about the struggle for Fishermen’s Terminal. It’s a solid piece, nice mix of profile, insight, and inspiration. It was also great to work again with Penny Legate who wrote and reported the piece. You can find Loki selling at the University District, Columbia City, and West Seattle farmer’s markets or online at LokiFish.com or watch 11 more videos about their business on their Vimeo channel.

Dining in Kathmandu w/ the Knutsons of Loki Fish, The Aryals of Nepali Intelligencia, and Steve Brothers of <a href=

Dining in Kathmandu w/ the Knutsons of Loki Fish, the Aryals of Nepali Intelligencia, and Steve Brothers of Himalayan Mercantile/BMX Society

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