Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Davis.
Jeffrey got his start in computer art and design at a very young age. After award-winning work in his youth had left him inspired, he found himself immersed in computer programming and Graphic Design at the University of Maryland. He applied these skills to post-production work and design for magazine layouts, logo and cover art design, etc. All the while, he was nurturing a growing passion for studying and designing furniture, particularly in the contemporary and modern style with minimal, clean lines.
Jeff was uniquely drawn to elemental mediums, particularly steel, wood, and glass. He founded Elemental Design Inc, a building and design business that has yielded custom homes but ultimately focused on custom metal work, designing and building furniture, structures, and art for various restaurants, store-fronts and private clients.
In his sculpture, steel has allowed Jeff to explore repetitive and linear design without the restrictions of functionality, thus allowing the manipulation of balance without the limits of symmetry. His work is often inspired by scrap materials from other projects. The goal is a melding of materials to create movement while embracing the texture and substance provided by respecting blank space.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I discovered my interest in artistic design in college while studying CAD. What I found was that once the design was done, I wanted to build it and watch it take form. Some years later, I was introduced to metal work and began designing and building custom furniture using tube steel, wrought iron and sheet metal. I found working with metal particularly appealing because of the infinite possibilities and surprising flexibility of working with a hard material. There is an organic, raw feel to metal and its manipulation that inspires me to sculpt.
Each piece I create starts as an idea with a particular flow. I don’t sketch out what I will create. My process is to have a basic concept I plan to achieve, but allow it to evolve naturally. The design and flow comes from my mind and goes straight into the piece. As I work, touching flame to metal, the creation begins to speak to me, directing me to the form it wants to become. I am not merely creating a design that I want to share with people, but more I am part of a process where I get to participate with energy that exists within the material itself and together we create something much more impressive than if I was to create it completely on my own.
(I’m about to sound repetitive here, but I think this is important so feel free to edit this as needed) With my work, I try to challenge the idea of balance, symmetry, and show how metal which is usually considered cold and harsh can actually be a feminine and warm shape. A lot of people have asked if I design my work in CAD and then simply transfer it into real life. That has never been the case. The process for me is very organic. I start with an idea, but that idea always changes a bit as I start to sculpt the piece. It’s important to me to allow the material to speak and be part of the process.
There is a very strong energy to metal and when you tune into it, you allow things to happen that typically cannot on their own. I never measure anything as I build the piece but simply use my eye to space out and layout the look I’m trying to achieve. I feel that is where the magic is in the work, because when you see how it comes together and the piece takes shape, things seems to just line up without the predetermined plan in place, thus combining my idea with the material and energy and allowing the unknown to exist.
My work focuses on Unity, the idea of multiple beings coming together to create or form one. I honestly hope that people take away their own interpretation of my work. I am not concerned that they take away any specific message or theme from my work as long as the work speaks to them. Everyone has their own idea of union, love, and life, but what is important is to simply start the conversation and make an impression. I truly hope my work inspires and starts a valuable conversation.
All of my work consists of metal tubing and is welding together. The material comes from several sources, but typically is a combination of scrap material or leftover material from previous projects and new material as needed to create a specific look that I’m going for. I use a big welder to weld up my pieces and rarely change the work at all once it starts taking shape. The only other element is to add paint as I believe each piece wants to be a specific color and after the work is complete, I try to listen to the piece to figure out the best color to truly express its message.
This work is truly a form a therapy for me. Being able to express myself and create something that previously only exists in my mind is truly rewarding and relaxing. If I could, I would spend several hours each day in my shop creating or designing my work. One day I hope that will be possible. I would consider that retirement, as I don’t think I will ever stop creating until I’m no longer here.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Don’t put off your work. The more work you do, the more ideas will come to you. I discovered my love for metal and started sculpting in my mid 30’s and feel like it should’ve happened years and years earlier. I just didn’t have the right medium that spoke to and inspired me.
If you have any interest in art, just start doing it. Doesn’t matter what your medium is as long as it inspires you. There will be times when people don’t see the value in what you’re doing, but don’t let that stop you. It is all part of a process. Just keep creating and put everything you can into your work and I promise it will pay off in time.
Try to understand your material and try to study the material to figure out all the possibilities it has and how it can be manipulated. Then study the finishes of the material as well. A good finish can completely change a piece and take it to a completely different level. It’s all part of the process.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I do several art shows each year.
-Beverly Hills Art Show
-The Other Art Fair (Saatchi Art)
-Bellevue Art Festival (Seattle, WA)
I also show in Galleries from time to time and try to add the info to social media and my website whenever this happens.
- Address: 3038 Hillcrest Drive Los Angeles, CA 90016
- Website: www.jeffdavissculpture.com
- Phone: 310-345-3411
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @jeffdavissculpture
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jeff-Davis-Sculpture-226831431125111/