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Garden Avenue, Los Angeles –details.

October 12th, 2015

Daniel Pontius

The contractor and their guys were back today finishing up the punch list so I took some detail shots to avoid tools and paint containers. The Master bedroom is waiting for the closet doors that span one wall, so as soon as that is finished– I’ll do some shots in there along with the lighting being installed in the MA bath and Hallway. –Brass with crystal bead covers.


Dining Room– a found wonkey 19th C table with multiple leaves with French deco chairs reupholstered in a rose velvet with contrasting taupe welt. Loose weave blue celadon grey linen curtains with cream muslin lining to keep a consistent exterior house color when closed– Simeona Leona. A Mid C Italian Silk with embroidered dots drum pendent.


18th C Italian mirror found at an estate sale contrasts with the original crest of arms in the living room window with storybook broken-window details. Curtains same as the adjacent dining room. Custom curtain hardware with hook brackets and acorn finials by Mak Made.



Brass sconces circle the living room –assembled from standard lamp parts with mica-shades. The 1920’s bungalow had been updated in the 1970’s with a stone wall fireplace and an oversized picture window that looked out on to a concrete block fence. Once the stones were removed the remains of a small window was found opposite the larger 1970’s window.  The large window was removed and a window was added to match the original. New glass was made to repeat the storybook broken-glass motif.


Brass tortoise bibelots found in Beijing– act as door nobs for cabinet doors in the living room. The set of bi-fold doors above them are waiting for their gold leaf frame details and mirror panels.



Carrera countertops with custom kitchen cabinets in pea green. Pink tiles for the back splash–found at the Habitat for the humanity Re-store– complement the copper details of the La Canche Stove. A central island butcher block countertop table custom by Mak Made with vintage stools as found from Design Utopia.



The chimney is stainless steel and copper. A pair of brass lanterns with etched glass from the 1960’s found at a flea market.


The client’s goose neck desk lamp rewired with uno sockets and brass shades in the library with vintage wingback chairs as found from Simeona Leona in the original fabric. Linen curtain panel with 19th C french horsehair ribbon detail.


Mixing metals– unlacquered brass hardware covers mix with porcelain and crystal door nobs in brushed nickel. Living room, dining room library and the hallways are painted in Dunn-Edwards Coshise.


Guest bedroom. Vintage rattan and bamboo side tables from Design Utopia. The vintage-y Chinese jars were French wired into lamps and can be ordered from Simeona Leona as well as pillows–vintage Japanese block print and a Laotian piecework pillow.


Corner of the guest bedroom with a 19th C English bamboo dresser and mirror with a very distressed lacquer top. Linen curtain with block print band detail.


In the guest bathroom, a custom Simeona Leona 1960’s hand block print shower curtain goes with a linen curtain appliquéd with the same fabric’s medallions in a random pattern.

Venezia Pillows

August 30th, 2015

Daniel Pontius

This is the first group of pillows that were inspired by trips to Venice, specifically doorways and pediments. These have been photographed without inserts to better see what is still a favorite compositional theme. All sold.


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Ikat Panels

February 6th, 2014

Daniel Pontius




You don’t really get the effect from these pics–mainly detail shots of the finishing–we usually forget to take pictures of  things, but these were put up in the studio to photograph before they are sent out to the client. Made out of an indian ikat bedspread  & a redish linen–the linen completes the panels on the outer sides and the border at the bottom –feeling intentional and essential in filling out the size needed to cover the area of an open closet. Both sides are finished–French Seamed and unlined but the linen borders give it a nice weight to keep everything staying in place. To keep it simple, they have individual pocket tabs for installation which gives body and helps them to stack.


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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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Butterfly Mother

October 9th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

I posted earlier that I’ve been researching the narrative of this textile. I wrote my dealer friend Zhang and he told me that they are butterflies–made by in Guizhou by the Jin He Miao. They live in a village about 5 hours from Kaili City.

It’s really the butterfly antenna, I would add that the movement of the design represents the the flying butterfly. For the Miao the butterfly is a main motif of their embroidery. Since they do not have a written language, their narratives exist in their embroidery. The butterfly connotes Butterfly Mother, who created the world and created the Miao. I’ve included a couple more pictures of some of the same motif that Zhang sent me.


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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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Pair of Japanese 19th C Silk Pillows

June 2nd, 2013

Daniel Pontius

From a Monks robe. Both the outer and the inner lining of the robe is used. These are folded and pleated and pieceworked to create a pattern and uniformity using the permanent creases, and sun fading of  the fabric.  The back is an Indian raw silk to contrast the fine Japanese Jacquard. 20 x 20.

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On Staring

May 17th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

Elaine Scary in her book On Beauty and Being Just writes that beauty replicates itself and one of the first acts of replication is staring. “The first flash of the bird incites the desire to duplicate not by translating the glimpsed image into a drawing or poem or a photograph but simply by continuing to see her five seconds, twenty-five seconds, forty-five seconds later–as long as the bird is there to be beheld.” Beauty also increases, I think, through staring. When looking long enough at something, it can jump out at you where before it wasn’t. It’s my fun new practice.

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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?