Chickasaw artist Daniel Worcester was born to D.D. and Dorothy Worcester in Ardmore, Oklahoma in 1955. As a child, he lived on his grandparent’s (original enrollees) original allotment north of Pontotoc. His time spent there gave him a life long desire and connection to the land and his Chickasaw heritage. As an adult, Worcester began to experiment with different art forms and found that he had a talent and interest with functional art in metal.
As an accomplished blade smith, Daniel Worcester forges works of art by hand from found objects like old wagon springs, tools and steel files. With loving precision, he creates one-of-a kind knives. The handles of his art pieces include a variety of materials, such as dominoes, billiard balls, poker chips and sterling silver utensils. Worcester works in his studio/shop and forge located near his home. He says, "I think of my work as being functional art that has been made using traditional methods of forging but with a contemporary look and feel. I’m following a time-honored tradition practiced by artisans of long ago that not only used their work but passed it down to the next generation to be used and admired." Worcester collects art as well. "I enjoy viewing and collecting a wide variety of art. Paintings, jewelry, basketry, weaving, sculpture, music, nature … all of these [things] influence me."
His work has won many awards at major art shows including eight first place awards from the Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work has been selected by the Museum of Arts and Design, in New York for the “Exchanging Hands II” exhibit. Worcester knives have also been exhibited at many major museums across the United States including:
- Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Naples Museum of Art, Napels, Florida
- Anchorage Museum of History & Art, Anchorage, Alaska
- Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Museum of Arts & Design, New York, New York
- Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Daniel Worcester has been active in supporting Southeastern art initiatives throughout his adult life. In particular, he has participated in Chickasaw Nation sponsored events and activities and has lent his knowledge and expertise to programs supporting Chickasaw art and artists. He has been an ambassador of great dignity and respect for the Chickasaw Nation through his many travels representing the art of blade smithing.