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Connie Norman

Don Davis – Plinth Gallery Artist Interview

This month’s Plinth Gallery Artist interview is with Don Davis.
Exhibition Dates:
August 3 – September 29
First Friday August 3
Second Saturday August 11
For more information please visit Plinth Gallery’s website.  Or if your int the area please visit the beautifully designed Plinth Gallery @ 3520 Brighton Blvd, Denver Colorado.
Don Davis’s dedication to clay work is due to an enduring love for the material and the processes of forming and firing it. Most of his work has been wheel thrown porcelain forms although he has pursued many other ceramic techniques. Davis’ early work focused on form, surface treatment and the concepts of duality, indicated by the play between interior and exterior which provided sufficient content. His latest work with terra cotta has become more sculptural and involves content of a more specific yet complex nature. While the natural world and ancient traditions provide the greatest inspiration for him, he allows his work to take its own unique contemporary direction. At its best, that direction is a cooperative effort between the clay, the fire and myself. – Jonathan Kaplan Plinth Gallery
Don sent this interview from Italy!  Grazie e buon divertimento!

For more informatin on Don and his artwork please make the jump to his website.

Don Davis will conduct a 2 day participatory workshop at the Gallery August 4-5.The workshop will demonstrate both wheel thrown and hand built forming methods. Starting with bowl forms and moving on to composite pieces constructed from components formed by various methods. Discussion will focus on clay choices related to form, using wild materials, the importance of improvising, the challenge of throwing thick or thin, relating surface treatments & firing methods to our particular forms, and staying open to new possibilities while exercising personal choices toward your desired results. Ceramic history and cultural influences will be discussed as fundamental inspiration for our own contemporary philosophy and work.  Please call the gallery for more information and to register for this highly instructive workshop. Graduate college credit is available through Adams State College.  303 295-0717
For more informatin please visit the website of Plinth Gallery.

Let’s go back to the very beginning—how did you become a ceramicist?

Fell into it along the way.

Has a significant personal experience shaped your work?
Many
What other clay artist influenced you if any and why?
Chuck Hindes, Norm Schulman, & Jun Kaneko – significant input as teachers.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Ancient things.
What are you showing at Plinth Gallery this month? How did you come up with the title for the show?
Showing the tower forms influenced by ancient architecture, omphalos bowl forms, & muse baskets.
If they stuck with the title “transitions”, it references my transition from high temp, Asian influenced ware to my recent work in terra cotta.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book, “Wheel Thrown Ceramics”?
It was a great experience for me.
How do you maintain a healthy work and life balance?
Good food, wine, and keep a garden.
You, like most people enjoy the process of making and didn’t get into it for the sake of “business”. But eventually you found yourself having to make the transition from crafter to a businessperson. What have you learned so far and what advice can you give others in the same situation?
I was a full time studio artist for 22 years; now a university professor. Business (making a living) and the transfer of information (which can also be part of making a living) are both part of the profession.
Tell us about your studio. What do you love most about your studio?
It is comfy and right across the yard from my house.
What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own voice and look?
Keep an open mind and don’t be in too big of a hurry to “arrive”. Don’t follow trends; pay attention to the ancients!

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