What in the Weld

What in the Weld original painting

What in the Weld began as a collaboration between myself and the director of operations of the concessions company for Washington State Ferry system. We decided I would make a new puzzle to honor the soon-to-onboard, MV Suquamish.


This Olympic-class ferry had been christened during a keel-laying ceremony in Spring 2018. Governor Jay Inslee welded a “Z” to honor his grandchild’s initial and Suquamish Tribal Elder Leonard Forsman welded a dot inside of a circle, an ancient design element found in the Old Man House in the early winter Suquamish village. Also, a design element you find in my paintings…no relation, or who knows…


I began painting in earnest in summer of 2018, one iteration after another, dragging my neighbor and fellow artist MaryJane Andreozzi into the studio for critiques.


The more research I did into the ecosystem of Puget Sound the more complicated the doings of these beloved ferries became. Ship noise interferes with the echolocation of the already endangered Orcas.


The acoustic footprint of a giant ferry is no joke.


As speaking of jokes I learned to maintain my sense of humor when my contact at the concessions company vanished into thin our air during our negotiations.


Maybe he went to live with the J Pod of orcas.


The puzzle design, however, lives on, and, who knows, perhaps you’re reading this story as you yourself ride across Puget Sound…


© Sarah Jane Lapp, 2024