Looking at his website, I found that Geoff Davis is an Indiana Artisan who “creates, carves and puts in your hand Indiana’s beautiful birds in wood and paint…he also teaches painting, carving, letterpress and ukulele building classes.” Delving a little further I even learned that he loves books from the 1920’s, is a proud father to the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen (so..that makes him like, practically a royal, right?), and spent his summers growing up in Maine.
But if you really take some time to get to know Geoff Davis, you’d find out he is much more than all of that. Geoff is a steady hand, an inspired vision, a creative talent, and after talking with him I can wholeheartedly say, a kind person too. As the artist behind Indiana’s “50 Little Birds,” Geoff started the project to give back to Indiana’s Blue Stone Folk School where he works during the week. Geoff carved 50 birds out of primarily Indiana found products and sold them for profits that were then donated to the school.
The birds Geoff carves are simple yet beautiful. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no great critic, but the first time I looked at his work I could tell it was something special. As a folk artist, Geoff says he believes the story is often more important than the image. “I firmly believe that all folks have a bird that they identify with,” Geoff said. “I don’t carve a bird until I have a personal connection with it; my artwork is my way of sharing these stories.”
Geoff’s birds are mostly drawn from local Indiana species, and he describes them like I would describe my best friends to a stranger. He talks about their individual characteristics and quirks. He told me that crows for example, can communicate, mourn and remember human faces.
I know that after getting to know Geoff and his handcrafted wood-works, I’m going to remember a few new faces from now on too, like these guys for instance: Because really, how could you not love a face like that?
Geoff Davis is a juried member of Indiana Artisan – the official organization to review, recognize and promote the work of Indiana’s highest-quality art and food artisans. Find out more about Indiana Artisan at IndianaArtisan.org.