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Rising Stars: Meet Jonathan Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Davis.

Hi Jonathan, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I have been taking things apart, trying to figure them out, and then putting them back together again since I was a little kid. Most of the time I was able to successfully put those things back together! These days I just like to build things.

I spent a good 10 years intensely focused on improving my drawing skills. I then started at UTSA in the Fine Arts program with the intention of focusing on drawing. The drawing program didn’t exist at the time I was trying to go. There weren’t enough professors who focused on drawing. I started taking a lot of sculpture classes instead. One of my sculpture professors, Greg Elliot taught me how to weld, and I started figuring out how to create my figure sketches in three dimensions, made from steel rods.

The sculptures I started making turned out to be decently popular, and I sold one at Highwire Gallery to a guy who worked with a man named Robert Diaz DeLeon. Robert saw the sculpture and wanted to know who made it. This is how I started working for Robert at Flux metal studio. He built a lot of the stuff at the Pearl district. Chandeliers and other things are made from canning and bottling equipment. Lots of steel, brass, and copper. I learned a tremendous amount of skills working in Robert’s shop and got to build a lot of stuff at the Pearl.

I wanted to be able to design the things I built, so I started my own business Iron Moose Co. Things were very slow going at the start, but about 5 years in (3 years since the official formation of my business) things are going pretty strong! I do work in wood and metal, and I have fun with it!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road! Getting equipment to be able to make things is expensive! Most of the equipment I started with was broken, or partially broken equipment I bought off of Craigslist and repaired! The other difficult part is getting your work in front of people!

Somehow over the course of the last 5 years or so, I became extroverted due to my constant self-promotion! Hahaha! I did not use to be extroverted at all. I preferred to just stay in my shop and not deal with people. You don’t sell very much stuff that way though!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I feel like I’m known for my creativity… maybe? I build custom furniture, but I’m not really a good fit if you just want some standard type of cabinet or shelving unit that is sized for a specific location. I can do it! But there are custom cabinet shops that can do it faster and less expensively than I can!

If you have a vision for a unique piece of furniture or artwork though, I can make it exist. Sometimes even if it seems like it shouldn’t be able to exist! I am more an artist than I am a furniture builder, but I really enjoy making furniture that is in and of itself a work of art. I can build in wood, steel, stainless steel, brass, and copper. What I really enjoy are opportunities to combine different materials together.

I am most proud of a stainless steel table with sweeping curves for legs that probably should not be able to support a 500-pound marble top due to the style of the table base it is. I did figure out a way to make it work though! I also make patterned floating shelves out of wood and steel which tend to be very popular. I feel like the floating shelves are what I have built the most of.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I help teach martial arts in the evenings. A style called Wing Tsun, and I’ve been doing it for about 12 years! I also just started grad school at UTSA for cognitive neuroscience! I’m really excited, but I expect it will be a tremendous amount of work!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ray Perez

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