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Posts from the ‘Madame Castaing’ Category

Alta May Pillow

June 10th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

Alta May was my great grandmother who did the original cotton on cotton embroidery sometime in the 1920’s. This is a newly made pillow that I have over-dyed and piece worked — adding a hand embroidered text a Sapho fragment:  Someone will remember us, I say, in another time.  

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Toile de Jouy Redux- Slip covers.

May 5th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

I came across these photos I took last year at the Toile de Jouy Museum.  The toiles were all traditional red and white, but I’ve been influenced my Instagram where technology helps reality be more interesting. At the museum there were two slipcover examples–a sofa and a daybed– that are just wonderful. I like them because they look like slipcovers. I have always thought slipcovers should look like slipcovers; they shouldn’t look like upholstery.  I mean if you want your sofa upholstered, have it upholstered, right?




Here, the slip cover goes over the cushions–not individually wrapped. I could do without the scallop edge. It seems like a tedious amount of extra work.

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The day bed–the curtains are a bit grand, but why not–who wouldn’t  want a good pelmet?

Vintage Silk Scarf Pillows

October 27th, 2010

Daniel Pontius

And I on a soft pillow
will lay down my limbs. Sappho.

Vintage Silk Scarf cut & re-patterned.

Large “Musique” Silk scarf. Cut and repatterned.

Wonderful acid turquoise, yellows pinks and chartreuse. 

The alchemy of scissors and thread.

Piece work for me is about re-inventing and re-designing and re-patterning. It’s the alchemy that comes with cutting something up and putting it back together.

I started collecting vintage silk scarves after a summer course at Fitzwilliam College in 2000. I had a friend there who told me about a distant cousin he had just met in London. The cousin was in his 70’s and lived in South Kensington with his partner in a house filled with antiques. They had a collection of tea cups and silk scarves. At 30 I imagined being 70, in a large house with everything that comes with it, and a collection of silk scarves. I got back from England and I found an Hermes Scarf in a thrift store and my collection began. It is quickly filling up one of my Halliburton suitcases. Pictured here are pillows I made out of a couple of the scarves.