The prolific body of work by Lewis Knauss (b. 1947-Macungie, PA) in the field of textiles has always been influenced by his natural surroundings. Whether it was the fields in rural Pennsylvania where he grew up, or the mountains of Colorado, which he visited later in his career, or his travels to Egypt and Israel, his connections to place at a particular point in time has heavily influenced both his choice of materials and his technique.
As an education major at Kutztown University, Knauss was first exposed to textiles when fulfilling a general requirement for graduation. Attracted to the material properties of yarn, Knauss decided to take a weaving class, which forever changed his career path. In the late 1960s, many artists were exploring the tensions within the field of craft, often questioning the need for crafts to be defined by functionality and opting to focus on process and materiality for its own sake. His exposure to contemporary weaving and textiles was reinforced through his study at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and subsequently at Tyler School of Art, Temple University where he received his Master’s degree.