A Short Autobiography of Bob Davis


I was born and raised in Gainesville Florida, the home of the University of Florida. My parents named me Robert Wyatt Davis after my Father's Brother and my Mother's Father. My Dad was from Pennsylvania and my Mother was from Indiana but partly grew up in New Jersey. They settled in Florida where Dad made his career and international reputation with research in nutrition.

Dad's work in radioisotopes made it possible to discover and determine the trace elements amounts that allowed cattle farming in much of Florida. It is now one of Florida's largest industries.

I have always had an interest in art, but during the "Sputnik Era" I was persuaded to pursue a career in science. I obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Physics in 1971, pausing along the way to enjoy the art, history and humanities courses that used to be an essential part of having a well-rounded liberal arts education. My wife, Helene, became a successful ceramic artist and together in the 1970’s we did the Florida winter fair and art show circuit.

After teaching Physical Science at the University of Florida for 7 years I took a position with Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. My first work was related to creating work-force management and computer operations support systems.  My last position with a telecommunications laboratory was as Research Scientist for Telcordia, a Baby Bell Lab spin-off, working on problems in computer system meta-data integration technologies.

In New Jersey my wife became interested in making Art Quilts. When I retired we chose Paducah, KY as a good place to be, with a good quality of life at a reasonable cost.

I have little formal art training so I am not sure I should be called an “Artist,” but I am sure I like to create art. You can judge for yourself.

Since I first wrote this Bio in 2009 I have taken a few art courses at the new Paducah School of Art. I have tried my hand at Drawing, Painting and Ceramic Bead Making.  I like them all but I find am particularly good at bead making.  My physics background is good at helping me design tools to help me make beads efficiently and the years helping Helene with her Pottery has enabled me to solve problems with the porcelain clay media.