Here's the trailer for a film I've just signed on to produce as Assistant Director. It's the pilot for a webseries called "Birthright." The pilot is "Countdown." We're shooting for a February release date, I hear the Charles is interested in screening the premier. Check it out!

A little behind the scenes special:

yer here, its here

This is my final version of "You Are Here."
Created entirely without a camera by scratching emulsion off 16mm film,
then drawing on the frames.
version 1
raw footage
Where we are is who we are; then who are we as our location changes? This film is centered on the red dot commonly found on public maps, "You Are Here." The dot undulates nervously, constantly morphing. It does not mark a location at all, but rather describes the uncertain nature of place and our belonging to it. The dot is forgotten as the film turns into a vertical landscape, flowing down the frame. This horizon line is also constantly changing, then transforming into abstract colors and form.
The sound featured is a recording of Shelly Blake-Plock's live performance
"From Here to There is Nothing if Not Difficult."
Two turntables and a microphone, a distortion pedal, and a lot of tin foil.


it's official. you should come.

Experimental Animation Show Trailer from Phil Davis on Vimeo.

 Here are some finished projects from my ceramics course in sculpture this past semester.

"Cast Off"
Two shards of faces, eyes from a vacant identity. They belong together but cannot be connected. The wheels on their backs allude to the shards' potential mobility, but prevent them from aligning. They cannot see each other, but they cannot move on their own.
process 1
process 2
"Reliquary for a Field"
Project assignment: create a ceremonial vessel using coils.
A reliquary is an object that houses holy relics, mostly used in medieval European cathedrals. They are used to remember and honor saints from the past (sometimes holding bits of their bones and hair). My reliquary houses a small grassy field. I haven't lived in a place with a lawn in over five years, and I've really been missing it. This reliquary allows me to keep that memory.
The grass was planted and grown within the vessel.
 Jewelry grad student Rachel Timmins vs the weird ass TV cover in the sculp studio.

My films from this semester will be screened!!! Open invitation, all are invited. Grab a six pack and come watch some sweet animation from my class.

"You Are Here: 1"

My final film, "You Are Here: 1" 
16mm scratch film
Created entirely by hand without a camera.
Sound designed by scratching amplified steel strings.

Crank up that volume.

Glass Documentary

My co-director Patrick Coursey just uploaded a much better quality video of our documentary project from last year. You can also find it in the video section of this website. Enjoy!!

"McFadden Glass Art"
Produced and Directed by: Patrick Coursey, Savanna Leigh
Edited by: Patrick Coursey, Savanna Leigh, Greg Hindman

Melting Vase

A new project- blown glass into a wooden mold, then shaped as a vase.

Here's how it was made:

And how it turned out:

Also, here's a new bowl I made on Friday the 5th:

Walking Landscape 2 @ Gallery 788

Some photos of my work from Gallery 788's November Show

788 Washington Blvd. 
Baltimore, MD, 21230
Thurs:  5:00 pm - 9:00pm
Fri: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Holiday Sale

Christmas is coming up fast, and people are asking me about glass presents. Here's the info!!

I'll be selling glass ornaments and bowls at the Towson Holiday Sale. This is your best chance to chose from a
wide selection of colors and styles.
Ornaments will be $15-$30, and bowls will be $80-$150

Center of the Arts Ceramics Studio Room 3012

Friday, December 3 – Saturday, December 4, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Start your holiday shopping by attending this annual event! The ceramic students and faculty present functional and fine art ceramic works for sale. A vast selection of hand crafted items, including stoneware,
earthenware and fanciful objects will be available.
Admission is free.


I also do custom orders and commissions with a
two week advanced notice.
Send me an email!

Esty coming soon...


(as my fellows call it)

I decided to make a stop motion animation of my sculptural process. Here's just a peek.

Rough Cut- it still needs audio and color correction
This will be continued through the entirety of this sculpture's process. 
Shot on a Canon DSLR Eos. Edited in Final Cut Pro 7.


Leaning tower of geography.

Each set of glued wood is left overnight to set. Then those stacks are glued to one another, and then again, slowly gluing the entire tower together. The whole thing is about 4 feet tall so far. It's hard to do all this clamping alone, but here's a trick I figured out- Clamp down the clamps! Then you have a free hand to add more clamps. Also, don't get your skin caught in the slides. Blood blisters.

Clamp Round #1

Clamp Round #2

 Clamp Round #3

There's probably 3-4 more rounds of clamping. Then I get to carve it all smooth.



A bit of an update:

Bisque fired stoneware. I always forget how much I love working with the figure... I gotta get more into this. Anatomy is great.


Walking Landscape #2 is finished. Blown glass atmospheres are epoxied into place. The wood is sanded to 400 and finished with an oil rub.


These landscapes are created from the waste emulsion from my recent scratch film. They will be mounted onto wooden frames that will all hang at different distances from the wall. The horizon line connects the small landscapes to one another, and the staggered distance alters their relationship as you walk around the piece. I'm gonna make like five more of them.


 This is a photo collage I'm working on titled "M/Otherland"
These are all photos my father took during the time he fell in love with my mother in Colorado, where I was born. While I have no waking memory of these places, I'm incredibly drawn to them. I feel like these are photos of memories I've had and lost. They're samples of my sense of unknown belonging to the Rocky Mountains and the place I was born. The title at once describes my longing for my motherland, and the otherness I feel as a stranger to that land.

The photos are all aligned by their horizon line, connecting them to each other. Together, they create a surreal landscape of Colorado. Pictured above is my mother on a mountain slope, below is my father's truck we all used to camp in.

Scratch Animation

Here is the digitized version of the animation I made a few weeks ago. The following is just a test, just a study for a longer version I'll be starting soon.

This was done completely by hand, completely without a camera, on 16mm film.

I've been working with the concept of migratory identity; where you are is who you are. So, I took the symbol of the red "You Are Here" dot commonly found on maps and allowed it to transform during animation. I used the scratch marks from removed emulsion on the film to signify fast movement. The second half in color looks like a landscape when laid out horizontally. The audio featured is created by mark making on the optical section of the film. The projector catches these anomalies and creates sound.

Grease in the Gears

For the past few weeks I've been sort of treading water as far as my thesis work goes, but now I'm ready to kick it back into high gear. I feel like I'm finally really on the ball :) Alot happened this week that has really motivated me.

I received a grant for $500 to build my sculptures. I'll get an exhibit at the Research Fair this Spring as well.  Now I can afford the right tools and materials I've been waiting for!

Sculptor David Knopp, who I met at the Tri-State Conference, was kind enough to let me raid his studio for scraps. I filled my car with as much as possible, and now I've got quite a bit of material to work with!
He even gave some beautiful laminated mahogany...

Check out David Knopp's work:

And last but not least, I landed an interview with City Arts Apartments, which is a brand new complex being built in Station North, Baltimore. It's government funded low-income housing that is designated for artists. The ground floor will be a gallery. There's even a bicycle parking garage!! This interview is the final stage of the application, and if accepted, I'll be moving in this May :)


Last weekend I went on a road trip to upstate New York and Vermont to uninstall some artwork at Salem Art Works. Very cool place- it's a non profit art center that hosts resident artists. They grow their own food, and people can live there for free in exchange for farm work. There's facilities for sculpting metal, wood, and ceramics. Plus, its beautiful out there!

Much of my thesis concept is based on landscape and its effects on personal identity; it was great to be back in the mountains, remembering how they feel. 
I took a billion landscape shots I'll be using in my thesis.


I've got some reels of exposed 16mm film. I've been getting the emulsion wet, then scratching it off. Then I draw on each frame of the film, so that when it's played through the projector, the drawings and scratch marks become animated.

This is camera-less film making.

The scratched off emulsion makes a great fibrous ink which dries hard, so I've been making some 6x6" landscapes with it that will be displayed triptych style.

This landscape will run through the projector and look like its wiggling. 
A"moving landscape"

I'll post the digitized video of this animation soon!!


I think it's important to mention how valuable Craigslist is to a working artist, especially in an industrial town like Baltimore. I've recently gotten in the habit of checking the listings every day, much like I check my inbox and Facebook. It's paid off- I got a GREAT deal on a vintage road bike that I now ride every day for my commute. The seller made all the adjustments for my fit and installed new bar tape for free. Nice guy, not as sketchy as I thought it would be.

I recently watched a documentary on Craigslist and the people behind the ads- it's pretty interesting, and you can watch it for free here.

Most of the time you'll only find crap, but every now and then something will come along that is PERFECT for the project you're working on. The diversity of things available is astounding, and its definitely worth a habitual gander.

Some interesting finds from my search today:

soooo many more tools...

Every now and then a contractor sells his extra tools and materials from a build, or a warehouse gets cleaned out and you can take all their storage units. Neat stuff.

If you check the housing ads, there's almost always some kind of spare room for rent to artists as a studio space. Sometimes a big warehouse gets bought, and you can purchase xft^2 for your own work space, which is an awesome deal. There's also ads placed for open call art shows, auctions, craft and festival booths, and art dealers.

As always, be careful who you talk to and what information you give. But if you're smart about it, Craigslist can be your most valued tool as an artist.

Helluva Weekend

Jam packed weekend to be had. And its only Saturday.

On Thursday, Maryland Public Television stopped by to shoot a segment on Tim McFadden in the glass shop. You will see me on TV in about 4 weeks. The camera crew said that the segments are usually posted online as well, so you'll all get to see the footage here once its up!

Tiny camera, giant Timmy.


Later that night there were several art openings to go to.

 First up is the "Space Invaders" installation by the Towson sculpture grad students in the Towson Commons Gallery.
This is a ball pit installation by Vincent Valerio

This is a room of motion activated inflating fabric forms by Rob Guevara, and me smooshed between them.

After that opening, I headed over to Goucher's Rosenberg Gallery to see the new show curated by my thesis committee member Laura Amussen. It's a baller show, I highly recommend seeing it!!

After that, I headed downtown to Pig Town's up and coming Gallery 788 on Washington Blvd, near Camden Yards. I had a piece featured in their first annual Erotic Arts show which is a celebration of sexuality in visual arts. It was a HUGE hit!! The whole gallery was packed shoulder to shoulder, and people were pouring into the streets waiting to get in. $5 got you a Gallery 788 cup, and $1 got you refills all night long. There was music, there were people wearing nothing but paint, there was slam poetry and burlesque.

Here is Roma Mafia opening the night's performances, popping balloons as she goes.

Packed. Awesome.


Friday began the three day Tri-State Sculpture Conference. There are lots of lectures from amazing artists, and demos on equipment and process. 

Learning how to TIG weld cast bronze

Learning how to stack laminate plywood from David Knopp

Learning how to create 2 part resin bonded sand molds for casting iron and aluminum. 

The conference continues all day today, then tomorrow moves to UMD for the annual iron pour. Check it out!!