About J. Davis Studio

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John & Robin Davis are the husband and wife team behind J. Davis Studio.

John first became interested in ceramics while watching his grandmother produce delicate figurines when he was a young boy. He’s never been far from home – his first studio was an abandoned adobe on his grandparents’ land, and he bought his first kiln when he graduated high school and rented a local building in town that had a few advantages on the abandoned adobe, such as running water and electricity. Before he’d finished college, John had purchased the building and opened a gallery. Robin soon joined him as wife and later as his business partner, and J. Davis Studio as it exists today was fully formed.

Initially, John was known for his graceful vases inlaid with floral and cactus designs inspired by the colors and flora of the Chihuahuan Desert. Though these vases are still a favorite with galleries and collectors across the United States and Canada, John’s pottery evolved into the distinctive pieces you can see on our site through a fascination with their daughters’ favorite playtime activity: digging for buried treasure in the ground surrounding their rural Far West Texas home.

Hannah & Michaela 1994

The girls would bring their finds to John, showing him the way that age made their various keepsakes turn amazing colors from the heat and theĀ chemicals in the soil. John became interested in creating pottery with that same feeling of eternal endurance, like an object unearthed from a prehistoric archaeological dig.

He found the look he was seeking in 16th century Japan. A firing technique called Raku was developed to create pottery for Japanese tea ceremonies, and the result was an ethereal, almost otherworldly glaze that inspired awe and amazement. You can learn more about the Raku technique here, but it’s enough to say that John was captivated by the beauty of the technique. It gave the impression, fresh out of the kiln, of being simultaneously as old as the pyramids and as beautifully fragile as a butterfly’s wings.

Raku firing requires mindfulnessJohn set himself to mastering this extremely difficult, volatile technique, and his creations attest to how well he learned the skill.

At J. Davis Studios, we make Raku Christmas ornaments, candlesticks, vases and keepsake boxes, and we are known far and away for our innerSpirit Rattles.

Rattles have been used for meditation in countless cultures, and are commonly used in music for a strong, subtle rhythm that seeps through the main harmony and into the mind. Their gentle sounds sink deeply into us, lulling us into a place of safety and creating the perfect environment for contemplation.

While many use rattles to channel their thoughts or awaken certain emotions, others simply find the sound of a rattle soothing to the ear, and the smooth feel of our Raku pottery comforting in the hand. We’re certain you’ll find your innerSpirit Rattle a source of delight, comfort, and beauty in your life.

As Robin says, “The Chihuahuan Desert is isolated, harsh, and rugged, but the beauty and peacefulness of our area reinforces faith, and encourages an appreciation of even the smallest things in life. I believe the rattles carry a little of this emotion inside each one.”

The rattles carry the spirit of the desert with them all over the United States, in galleries, catalogs, gift shops, hospitals, churches, national parks, and museums. For those of you who have never stumbled across them in person, you can see the beautiful work here on our site and order yours to hold it in your hand.