More than 300 snow globes decorate Bothell artist’s office

It’s not unusual to see a snow globe or two on a desk at work.

Shaking these glitzy-kitschy souvenirs helps people de-stress or relive vacation moments.

But hundreds of snow globes?

What’s up with that?

Dennis Wunsch has about 300. His Bothell office is a globe fest of miniature dioramas. Snowmen. Sea creatures. Skylines. Elvis. A bowler who dropped a ball on his foot.

Wunsch is the creative director of Scotsman Guide, a magazine that has nothing to do with Scotland or men in kilts or anything Scottish (what’s up with that?!). It’s a resource for mortgage originators. Mortgage lending isn’t sexy, but this guide is flashy with punchy illustrations.

Maybe it’s the mojo of the snow globes.

The office is tucked away in the Canyon Park Business Center maze of look-alike buildings off Bothell-Everett Highway. Wunsch’s snow globe kingdom is only seen by co-workers and their furry friends.

This media company lets employees bring their dogs to work. That’s the biggest threat to the globes.

“Their tails have knocked them off,” said Wunsch, a dog owner and pet rescue foster parent.

It doesn’t happen often. The dogs here are well-trained and behaved. So, too, are the workers.

Wunsch adds some whimsy to the workplace. Here’s this tall, soft-spoken seemingly normal enough 56-year-old man who creates fine art while surrounded by plastic bric-a-brac.

“He makes it fun because it’s a really quiet office. It gives it character,” co-worker Heather Neumann said. “When I first started here and I saw Dennis’ office I thought it would be my kids’ dream to come here and shake them all at once and see how many they could get to stay going.”

If there were 300 globes at my fingertips, that’s what I would do, shake snow and glitter all day. We’d never get a newspaper out.

Wunsch denies playing with them.

Still, a snow globe crept onto a page in 2011. “I try to put more snow domes in, but this is the only one that made the cut,” he said of an illustration for a story about the underwater housing market.

Snow globes got started when someone stuck a little Eiffel Tower in a glass globe in the late 1800s, eventually leading to a cheesy souvenir explosion. About anything goes inside a snow globe these days. Ben Franklin. Naked women. Sasquatch. Bowlers.

Wunsch started collecting them in the late 1980s while tagging along with his wife on junkets for mid-century modern furniture. “I needed something to go look for,” he said.

Snow globes hit the spot. “It seemed a little strange and fun.”

You know how it is when you start collecting something, be it rocks, stamps, spoons, tattoos, bobbleheads or Pez.

“Once you start getting a few, well, then you got 25. And that’s not enough. It started domino-ing,” Wunsch said.

The frenzy was abetted by friends and family who get him globes on travels.

Heck, I was suddenly struck with the urge to bring him one, so there’d be a little piece of me on the shelf. Crazy.

Wunsch’s globes have traveled to three states and seven offices with him. “It took three people to package them and wrap them up,” he said. “You know you have good friends when they sit around and pack snow globes.”

We’re talking about filling a dozen moving boxes.

Wunsch says he has it under control.

“There are people way crazier than I am about their snow domes,” he said. “I’ve gone to my 12-step program. I’ve cut back.”

The TSA likely has an impressive collection. According to the TSA site for carry-ons, snow globes must contain less than 3.4 ounces (tennis ball size) and the entire globe, including the base, has to fit in the same clear, plastic, quart-sized bag as the passenger’s other liquids, such as shampoo and cosmetics.

Would you give up your toiletries for a snow globe?

Got an obsession or hidden What’s Up? Please do tell.

Check out Wunsch’s illustrations at

Send What’s Up With That? suggestions to Andrea Brown at 425-339-3443; Twitter: @reporterbrown. Read more What’s Up With That? at

More in Life

Gardening tools: Experts help through hotline, drop-in clinics

The WSU Extention program is meant to help gardeners with their plant and pest problems.

Here’s how to add your plant sale to the Herald’s yearly guide

We’re taking listings now for our annual list of sales in April, May and June. Don’t forget yours.

Another sign of spring: Fun facts about the Pacific tree frog

This time of year, chorus frogs can be heard singing for a mate in evenings and mornings.

Great Plant Pick: Abies koreana, Korean fir

What: Aristocratic in appearance and slow growing, Abies koreana, commonly called Korean… Continue reading

Here are 7 locally made beers to try for this St. Patrick’s Day

Sound to Summit in Snohomish made one of the brews especially for Shawn O’Donnell’s restaurants.

Walla Walla nearly as famous for its grapes as for its wines

More than 130 wineries call the valley home, making it a destination for wine tourists.

The customer is king at Tabby’s Coffee in Everett library

Starbucks barista-turned-coffee shop owner Tabitha “Tabby” Tarter is big on customer service.

Here are 8 ways celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Snohomish County

Local events include Shamrock concerts, leprechaun sightings and Celtic dancing, bagpipers and more.

Schack’s juried art show features 121 Northwest artists

The show’s two judges awarded Rick Holst with the grand prize for his U.S. map, a work titled “Avoca.”

Most Read