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Fresh Shop: Dogknot

Aug 11, 2011

by AnneClemmer handmade and vintage goods

Every day, our community grows in unexpected and delightful ways. For our Fresh Shops series, sellers who have been on Etsy for a mere handful of months or are awaiting their first sale introduce themselves. Here’s a warm welcome to all our newbies!

For this post, Anne Clemmer wrote about artist Daniel Schwartz, who recently began selling some of his pieces in his Etsy Shop, dogknot. Anne lives and works in Bloomington, IN,  where she completed studies in philosophy and French and worked in publishing before retiring to a more tranquil rhythm. 

Looking at one of Daniel Schwartz‘s fiber pieces, it may occur to you that you have never quite seen anything like it. And yet, it reminds you of things you have seen before: things in anatomy books, diagrams of arteries, ventricles, adipose-laden tissues, blood-colored muscle-like fibers bound by a web of creamy yarn fascia. What are you seeing when you look at one of Daniel’s pieces? They seem to give you more than ample opportunity to see what you want to see, and yet, what are they? What is the information or experience that Daniel is downloading in his creative process and forming into these winding, sometimes comforting, sometimes repulsive works?

Working with fiber allows Daniel an interactive creative process like nothing he had experienced in his years painting and working in other media. Daniel tried for years to learn to crochet and never quite reached a level of creative satisfaction where his process could flow freely, uninhibited by the technique. Consequently, he developed what he jokingly refers to as “no-chet,” a style of working the yarn with the tools of crochet, but with a very organic and free-flowing technique. Pieces of crocheted innards stuffed away in a closet would be discovered years later and suddenly make sense and be developed and fleshed out. “I always feel like I’m sketching instead of crocheting,” Daniel says.

There is a meditative aspect to the work Daniel does, a subconscious flow that surfaces and permeates the work with each stitch. There is a process of understanding as Daniel watches his hands move — almost as a spectator. They flow with an energy separate from himself, an understanding of the underlying structures of life that emerge in the form.

The work is evolving as the artist does. “For 20 years it has been about mining deeper,” Daniel says. Now his work is beginning to have a freer and more playful tone. It has become less about processing darkness and more about feeling the present moment.

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