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Posts from the ‘beauty’ Category

Staring in Venice

November 9th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

So we just got back from Italy on Tuesday. These are some pictures of Cannaregio– the neighborhood we stayed in Venice–shots of vistas and treatments that you just want to keep staring at so you take a picture and move on. It’s beautiful in it’s rhythm and order; and I would describe it as surreal, but I’m not entirely sure what I mean by that. It is floating and melting and then flooded with colors and details that I thought if I were a decorative painter I would die to get right.

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Miao Embroidery

September 19th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

I’ve been researching the narratives of Miao Embroideries. This one I sourced in China. I’m still working on the narrative so I’m going to write about some technical aspects of the embroidery.

This is a reverse appliqué with a plaited couching stitch finish. The off white is the background fabric. The pattern would have been drawn or stenciled on the darker fabric of the foreground, then cut out. The cut-out darker fabric was then sewn directly to the white with a running stitch along the edge of the pattern–a basic running stitch because later it is covered with the plaiting.

The cord or plaiting is made from an inner thread like raffia or hemp and then wound with silk to make the plait. After this is all done, it is couch stitched over the running stitch made earlier around the edge of the fabric.

As for the design, I used to think they were clouds. But now, I think the pattern is based on the butterfly–butterfly antenna and the trailing floating pattern of their flying from one place to another. More about that as soon as I do a little bit more writing. Spend some time staring at the images and let me know what you think. Perhaps someone has written about a similar pattern, let me know.

The embroidery is 25 x 27 not including surrounding frame.

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A detail of the fraying edge of the darker cut fabric and the couching stitch.


Over-dyed Phulkari

July 15th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

These are still drying in the back yard–phulkaris that I have dyed to more muted colors. The befores are at the bottom of the post.

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Color Combinations

April 16th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

This fragment jumped off the shelf at me when I looking for Fez Textiles in Paris this past June.  Probably Greek  late 18th to Early 19th C– a fabulous piece of inspiration- long and narrow with 3 odd but delightful patterns embroidered in silk and metallic threads on a homespun linen. Bellow are details of the embroidery.

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3 Objects For Your Enjoyment

April 10th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

If these images were books; and if I organized my books by color, they would be mixed on my shelf with: Wonders of Rome- Eternally Beautiful, Grey Cheeked Parakeets and Furnishing the Colonial and Federal House. And, if I had the job of naming paint colors, I would name them:  Lubinus Brown,  Melton Gold, and Brønderslev Blue.


I took this photo one morning in Paris. It is the remains of my coffee bowl. Tasseography is Fun!

This is a painting my boyfriend found  at Clignancourt.  It is nice to have a photo and not another painting. It is nice to have a photo and not another painting–an affirmation for the horder. You can switch out painting for anything else.


A favorite stain glass window, in the crypt at Chartres.



Clouds — Paris

August 21st, 2012

Daniel Pontius

Clouds and moon like the Rococo in June — after dinner at the  Marché des Enfants Rouge –a favorite.

Mina Loy II

August 5th, 2010

Daniel Pontius

Consider Your Grandmother’s Stays: drawing by Mina Loy, 1916

L’Amour dorloté par les belles dames: drawing and gouache by Mina Loy, 1906 (Collection of Roger L. Conover).

La Maison en papier: drawing and gouache by Mina Loy, 1906 (Collection of Michael Duncan).

Love Songs


Spawn of fantasies
Sifting the appraisable
Pig Cupid his rosy snout
Rooting erotic garbage
“Once upon a time”
Pulls a weed white star-topped
Among wild oats sown in mucous membrane
I would an eye in a Bengal light
Eternity in a sky-rocket
Constellations in an ocean
Whose rivers run no fresher
Than a trickle of saliva

These are suspect places

I must live in my lantern
Trimming subliminal flicker
Virginal to the bellows
Of experience
Colored glass.

At your mercy
Our Universe
Is only
A colorless onion
You derobe
Sheath by sheath
A disheartening odour
About your nervy hands

Heavy with shut-flower’s nightmares
Curled to the solitaire
Core of the

Evolution fall foul of
Sexual equality
Prettily miscalculate

Unnatural selection
Breed such sons and daughters
As shall jibber at each other
Uninterpretable cryptonyms
Under the moon

Give them some way of braying brassily
For caressive calling
Or to homophonous hiccoughs
Transpose the laugh
Let them suppose that tears
Are snowdrops or molasses
Or anything
Than human insufficiences
Begging dorsal vertebrae

Let meeting be the turning
To the antipodean
And Form a blur
Than to seduce them
To the one
As simple satisfaction
For the other

Shuttle-cock and battle-door
A little pink-love
And feathers are strewn

Let Joy go solace-winged
To flutter whom she may concern

Once in a mezzanino
The starry ceiling
Vaulted an unimaginable family
Bird-like abortions
With human throats
And Wisdom’s eyes
Who wore lamp-shade red dresses
And woolen hair

One bore a baby
In a padded porte-enfant
Tied with a sarsenet ribbon
To her goose’s wings

But for the abominable shadows
I would have lived
Among their fearful furniture
To teach them to tell me their secrets
Before I guessed
— Sweeping the brood clean out

Midnight empties the street
— — — To the left a boy
— One wing has been washed in rain
The other will never be clean any more —
Pulling door-bells to remind
Those that are snug
To the right a haloed ascetic
Threading houses
Probes wounds for souls
— The poor can’t wash in hot water —
And I don’t know which turning to take —

We might have coupled
In the bed-ridden monopoly of a moment
Or broken flesh with one another
At the profane communion table
Where wine is spill’t on promiscuous lips

We might have given birth to a butterfly
With the daily-news
Printed in blood on its wings

In some
Prenatal plagiarism
Foetal buffoons
Caught tricks
— — — — —
From archetypal pantomime
Stringing emotions
Looped aloft
— — — —
For the blind eyes
That Nature knows us with
And most of Nature is green
— — — — — — — — — — — —

Green things grow
For the cerebral
Forager’s revival
And flowered flummery
Upon bossed bellies
Of mountains
Rolling in the sun

Shedding our petty pruderies
From slit eyes

We sidle up
To Nature
— — — that irate pornographist

The wind stuffs the scum of the white street
Into my lungs and my nostrils
Exhilarated birds
Prolonging flight into the night
Never reaching — — — — —— — —

Pollyanna Pontius

September 15th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Call it having a critical eye, an aptness for selection, or an edited palate. Call it what you will, it is easy is to notice the things that need to be changed–swoop in after the fact and start pointing–it is a skill to start noticing and seeing and appreciating something just the way it is regardless of it’s differences from what we envision. My most recent experiment is to look for the pleasing and see it without exam. Plato might say that the source of beauty exists in perfect form and we know it when we see it.