TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Danny Mansmith
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Danny Mansmith

Danny Mansmith
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Danny Mansmith Sewing

Danny Mansmith Sewing






I grew up an only child in the suburbs of Chicago and was very close to my mom and my grandma.

My grandma was a tough Polish lady with a big heart who was also an artist, but would never have said that. She nurtured me with love and exposed me to art, giving me the ability to see possibilities in things around us. As I grew up, I always said, “I’m going to be an artist”, so I tried art school for a year but realized that wasn’t for me. I became inspired to sew and memories of my grandma sewing my clothes growing up, filled my head.

I moved to Chicago in the 90’s and began to teach myself how to use the sewing machine. I have never felt a part of the group and so the idea of making my own clothes became very important to me; discovering my own ways of sewing, finishing seams and not being taught how to do it the “right way” seemed right to me. Over the years, aside from my hand made clothing I have taught myself how to draw with the sewing machine, construct dolls and figures out of found objects, covering them in stitches and have been finding joy in creating installations that combine all of those things that make me happy.

I wish the same for everybody to find that one thing that makes life worth living.



Working with my hands has saved my life. I have found my strength, sanctuary and cushion from the world in making art. My grandma gave me my first art lessons when I was very young. She sewed my clothes growing up and this influenced me to later teach myself how to use the sewing machine – allowing imperfections, emotions, and child like energies to fuel and inspire me to create. I want to push myself to make art with the things around me, to be resourceful and to follow my heart’s inspiration. Making something wearable, drawing with sharpies or the sewing machine, sculpting, to creating installations that incorporate all of these elements has become my spirituality – my survival.


on Danny Mansmith.
  1. |

    I have just discovered TAFA and I love your work and I’m intrigued by your three dimensional art! Two years ago I discovered “drawing with the sewing machine” and it has become a regular part of my creativity. My work is two-dimensional for the most part, except for the hanging threads, and I have learned to embrace frayed edges and so-called “imperfections.” I am also a painter, so between that and machine embroidery I have figured out “what I want to be when I grow up.”

    Best of luck to you in your continuing journey!

  2. |

    I love your work, and your way of working. It’s always an inspiration to go to your blog, and to see the images you show us on Flickr. You have a singular voice.

  3. |

    Hola, busque si tenias pagina en facebook para agregarte y no encontre, hacete una! muy lindo lo que haces, saludos desde Argentina

  4. |

    Hi Danny, Good to see your work again. Exciting as usual.

  5. |

    I’m a TAFA member and I find your work extraordinary! Keep doing what you’re doing and thank you!

  6. estela

    Que hermoso! Seria un mundo mejor si cada quien se dedicara a cultivar su talento para crear!

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