Learning on the go is a concept that resonates with Eric Davy, a 2009 Crafts and Design graduate who specialized in hot glass.
After spending four seasons as a glass-blowing artist in residence in Picton, Ontario, Davy was looking to heighten his exposure. He placed a Google ad to promote his newly established business, Davy Glass, and received what at first glance seemed to be a scam – an invitation to bid on a project to set up a demonstration glass-blowing studio at the Venetian Hotel in Macau, China.
He quickly realized the opportunity was legitimate, and tried to contain his hopes when he found he was in the running against several established studios from Murano, Italy – home to world-famous Venetian glass.
Still in shock that he won the bid, he was soon hit hard by stark reality. “I didn’t own a studio and I only had 20 days to get the whole thing together,” recalls Davy. He bought the bulk of the equipment from a studio in California “based on two photos and a glassblower’s word.”
Ten days before his departure, he got the surprise news that he was responsible for handling all the logistics. As if by fate, Davy ran into a childhood friend who specialized in this line of work and who agreed to help. Days before leaving, Davy was still frantically sourcing the final missing pieces of equipment from mentors, colleagues and other resellers.
Upon arrival, more tense moments ensued when he discovered that a burner tip had cracked during transport. The furnace was also different than ones he had used, prompting a desperate call to San Diego to the previous owner, who patiently walked Davy through the process.
Over the course of 29 days, Davy made about 110 pieces, which for him was true joy, given that he prefers making the art to selling it afterwards. Although he jokes that his preference for making functional pieces might peg him as being too “North American”, he says he loves to make his vases and bowls.
Asked to describe his trademark, he talks about a “swirling myriad of colour trails” – a process that came about because he ran out of colour one day and decided to experiment. “It’s definitely recognizable,” says Davy, “which makes me happy inside, because as an artist, that is what you are shooting for – to be unique and have something different.”
Learn more about Sheridan’s Bachelor of Crafts and Design (Glass) program.