“It really must be spring in the workshops of Rainier Metal Craftsmen on Hilltop in Tacoma. Giant flowers – seven feet tall, weighing approximately 150 pounds – tower over their creator, Jack Davis.Davis is a master metal spinner, one of only a handful left in the United States practicing a craft dating back over 4,000 years to the ancient Egyptians. Americans like Thomas Jefferson and Paul Revere were metal spinners, using hand-powered lathes to spin disks of metal into bowls, cups, vases and other items.The new creations by Davis are enormous flowers – 43-inches in diameter – each spun from a single piece of heavy gauge copper. Coloring is by anodizing the copper at different temperatures to get varying colors through a process Davis will not reveal.The flowers are accented with swirled globes of Mount St. Helens glass and lights, and sit on top of a brass stem with copper leaves and base. Davis has made two of the flowers so far, and has plans to make up to three more.Designing the flower concept – a very large object to work by spinning – began seven to eight years ago, Davis said. The flowers were finished within the past month.They’re prettier than what I thought they’d be, Davis says about his latest creations. The colors are experimental. It is impossible to duplicate these colors.Davis said a bank is considering purchasing some of these spring blooms, but first come, first served, he adds. He expects the unique towering pieces to sell for about $8,000 a piece.With only about a dozen master metal spinners left in the U.S., Davis has found himself in demand. He recently returned from a gallery showing in Oregon and is leaving again soon for a workshop in Fresno, California. Interest in his training classes and seminars on metal spinning has continued to increase, Davis says, and is taking off.For information on Rainier Metal Craftsmen, call 253-272-2226.”
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