Combining the ancient craft of metalworking with creative self-expression

Renowned Chickasaw bladesmith Daniel Worcester was born in 1955 and grew up on his grandparents’ allotment near Pontotoc, Oklahoma. His grandparents were original Chickasaw enrollees, and their heritage inspired the bladesmith to contribute to the Native American art community.

Worcester has talent in a wide array of art forms, particularly in functional art created from metal. He has perfected his craft over the past 25 years, combining the ancient craft of metalworking with creative self-expression. The visual artist forges blades by hand to create unique, contemporary pieces, often utilizing a variety of materials for the handles such as dominoes, billiard balls, silver utensils and poker chips.

"Daniel epitomizes the creativity, adaptability and determination which have long been hallmarks of Chickasaw culture,” Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said. “His ingenious ability to create knives which combine beauty and functionality helps bring to mind the centuries-old Chickasaw tradition of creating useful everyday items which are also works of art."

Worcester is passionate about supporting American Indian art initiatives. The bladesmith has participated in numerous Chickasaw Nation activities and events over the years. Worcester frequently contributes his expertise to various programs throughout the country, supporting Chickasaw art. The visual artist has also passed his wisdom down to his son, James, who has carried on his father’s tradition with the artisan craft.

Daniel Worcester’s knives can be purchased at Exhibit C, an art gallery and retail space in downtown Oklahoma City. For more information, click here.

Accomplishments

  • Inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2009
  • 2013 Red Earth “Honored One" during the 27th Annual Red Earth Festival
  • Eight first place awards from the Santa Fe Indian Market
  • Work selected by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York for the “Exchanging Hands II” exhibit