With deep Oregon roots originally emerging from Eugene’s OG glass scene back in the mid-’90s, Darby Holm remains one of the most talented, respected and celebrated glass artists of his generation. Though his creativity is boundless, Darby is perhaps best known for two trademark design elements – the first one being the cactus, which he uses in a majority of his pieces.
“It’s actually kind of funny because most people assume I’m from Arizona,” he chuckles, “but what brought those out is my traveling. I’ve spent a lot of time driving through Arizona, and when I’m out in the middle of nowhere, I like to stop and hang out for a while… eat a sandwich, burn a bowl, or whatever. So one day, I was staring at this big old gnarly cactus, and I was like, ‘Whoa, that looks like a Sherlock pipe!’ So when I got home, I tried to make one – that’s how it all got started.”
The other concept he returns to time and time again is the ray gun.
“The ray guns, they definitely come from my childhood,” Darby reminisces. “Marvin the Martian, Buck Rogers, Star Trek, and all of that. I really like ray guns because I can get futuristic and all of that weird kind of gadgetry just comes out of my head.”
Today, this lifelong Oregonian works out of a shop at his home in Grants Pass, where he’s passing the torch (literally) to his oldest son Caleb (@shurlockholm). And after a quarter-century in the glass game, he still appears to be as inspired as ever.
“I’m constantly blown away by all of these artists’ ability to keep upping their own game, and how the function keeps up with all of the amazing ideas brewing in their heads… ideas that are just waiting for the proper time to flow through their hands to bring another beautiful creation to life.”