By James Weir
Josh Davids creates his own art with 2,100-degree gobs of molten glass heated from a furnace that runs 365 days a year, and has for the past six years.
Davids’ goal is to educate the Kalamazoo community on glass art.
Davids, a glass artist, has made his living at Glass Art Kalamazoo for the past eight years. The local nonprofit organization began in 2002 in Kalamazoo. He decided to come to Kalamazoo to work at the studio because he has a passion for glass art. He said he loves the atmosphere of the studio, from the simmering heat to the wax-like smell of molten glass.
Davids uses his skills to provide fun and educational experiences in glass art classes. He teaches a number of unique classes such as glass blowing, lamp works, bead making, kiln fusing and sandblasting. Students make glass crafts such as lamps, marbles, ornaments, mugs and vases.
Davids basically lives in the studio.
“We want to teach the nature of glass art,” Davids said. “Using teamwork and trust to build glass framework skills together.”
Davids said glass art has been the same for 2,000 years. The same techniques are used now, except with more even fires and improved steel.
Victoria Hollister, the studio manager at Glass Art Kalamazoo, said people who come in for a lesson are always surprised to find out how hot it gets in the studio.
Glass Art Kalamazoo used to be called West Michigan Glass Society, but the name got changed for a new fresh start a few years ago. The organization is located at the Park Trade Center on West Kalamazoo Avenue. It links with schools, other nonprofit groups, and businesses, to enrich the community in the glass art.