Dan Mosheim: The Art Beyond the Furniture

Many artists enjoy pursuing more than one medium, and furniture maker Dan Mosheim is no exception. He has made beautiful and functional furniture since 1974, and with five people on staff today, Mosheim has been at it for so long and has such a love of art that he’s even pursued other art forms. When asked how he got the drive to do so much Mosheim says, “I love making furniture, but I’ve always had hobbies I pursued outside of it [like] golf, tennis, paddle tennis, and in the past I often hiked and snowshoed.” He goes on to explain that he doesn’t “sit still well.” But, in some way, shape or form, he always returns to art, even in his spare time.

Mosheim’s pursuit of other art forms began 20 years ago with pen and ink. After honing his drawing skills, he began wood burning. Soon, he was taking pottery courses at Frog Hollow and then bought his own kiln, and borrowed a pottery wheel and worked on that. Eventually, he realized that it was his interest in color that was driving him. Although furniture can be stained or painted, the colors of most pieces are normally simple or natural. He needed to slake his artistic interest in color with something new.

   From the ‘Ruthless People’ era, this is one of few brightly colored furniture pieces made by Mosheim

During his journey through other media, Mosheim bought a painting from a friend. The two struck a conversation up about the art form and the friend agreed to give Mosheim some tips to pursue painting himself. Mosheim visited his friend again and again over time to learn the art form, and the friend had inspired him to keep practicing, and to this day he has.

Being a furniture maker and running a busy furniture shop still takes up most of his time, but Mosheim makes time for the other important things in his life. “I don’t watch TV much,” Mosheim explains, and says that for two hours every evening he has “play time.” This is when he allows himself to pursue his interests outside of furniture making, and when most of his other art gets made. 

Mosheim’s drive to make art both draws inspiration from, and provides inspiration for his other endeavors. He still uses drawing to communicate ideas about his furniture to himself and to his clients, and in turn, his clients inspire his furniture by guiding the process of design. Mosheim is an avid reader, which influences his art heavily.

Mosheim’s list of influences for painting include Hans Hoffman, Motherwell, Rothko, Miro, and his friend Horst Rodies.  And for sculpture, David Smith, Sam Ogden, Noguchi and Calder.

To close out, a little story from his blog with some images of more art. Great to see the other styles and media from a great furniture maker!

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