Mr. Davis was almost forty when he took his first pottery class in 1974. He had held many titles in his life up until that point, including banker, pastor, actuary and political activist. But it was during that first pottery class that Mr. Davis found what he considered his destiny. From there, Mr. Davis studied at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, before receiving a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts grant in the early 1980s to spend a year at the Baltimore Clayworks, a center for the ceramic arts.
While in residence at Baltimore Clayworks, Mr. Davis began experimenting with shino, a Japanese style glaze. Over the years, he perfected his technique and recipe, creating pottery that did not have the customary milky-white glaze of shino, and instead boasted a variety of color and drama on every piece.