With a 5,000 degree sabre of flame made of liquid oxygen and propane, Jonathan Davis spins, shapes, and blows molten glass into elaborate works of art at his studio in rural Chatham County. “Much of my work is done in an anxious, scattered, unplanned, bordering haste style, if you can call it that,” said Jonathan.
Through his hands, glass lava becomes a lamp, a chandelier, a goblet, a pendant, a complex sphere, or an installation piece. “I’ve discovered the relinquishment of control allows for moments of surprise, detachment from expectations and a space between the lines which is not always apparent at the time.”
Jonathan is creating more than art in his studio, Locally Grown Art. Nestled in 1,000 acres of forest near Pittsboro, the space has become a catalyst for environmental and social causes such as organic farming, alternative energy, sustainable practices, and social justice. Working with local farmers and artists spawned his enthusiasm to teach and create art for the community.
He’s studied jazz at North Carolina Central University, apprenticed with the Carolina Glass Art Studio in Durham, studied with renowned master glassblower Emilio Santini, and taught at the Durham Arts Council. He now runs the Locally Grown Art Studio and teaches privately and through Central Carolina Community College.
Read more from Jonathan below, and if your interest is piqued, know that he’s offering Introduction to Glassblowing on March 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (limited to six lucky folks!). The class features 14 hours of studio time including lecture, raw materials, an information and resources packet–and the use of torches, kiln, oxygen, propane, ventilation, tools, and studio space. After completing the course, artists can rent studio time for a reasonable fee. To get in on it, head over to the registration form on his website.
From the Artist
Your childhood in a nutshell: Grew up in rural Durham County. Struggled with school and authority. A challenging process of understanding rules, social norms and constructs and how to best subvert them for the sake of my own personal growth.
How long have you been in Chatham County? And what brought you here? Eight years. The Sustainable Agriculture Program at CCCC.
Locally Grown Art and how it came to be: I was working on a goat farm in Snow Camp and growing food. I decided I wanted to merge my two passions and see in what ways they were compatible. Eight years later I’ve decided to focus more on art and keep growing things as a grounding relationship with the land that surrounds me and my studio.
5 words that describe me: spontaneous, adventurous, oscillating, ambiguous, indecisive
I’m most proud of: my recent series of lights and installations in the works.
Some jobs I’ve had: drug store clerk, goat herder
When I was little I wanted to be: Never decided! Still not sure!
Most people don’t know that: art fell in my lap in a humorous and peculiar story that wouldn’t be appropriate to share here.
My perfect day: No such thing, but I feel like I’m living a fulfilled life when taking risks, rock climbing, or whitewater kayaking with friends. Anything adventurous.
One thing I’ll never do again: speak in absolutes or believe in the myth of perfection
The best meal I’ve eaten in Chatham County: Blue Heron Farm 4th of July potluck. Great food and people.
- Website: http://www.locallygrownart.com
- AP Images Spotlight: http://blog.apimages.com/2014/09/23/a-glass-artist-at-work/
- Photo Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0enHX3yRNMY
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004305903362&fref=ts
- Chatham Artist Guild Bio: http://www.chathamartistsguild.org/portfolio-item/jonathan-davis/