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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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Assisi Soujourn

December 8th, 2013

Daniel Pontius


Besides the nobel art of getting things done, there is the nobel art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the non essentials. –Lin Yutang


There is something about this quote of Lin Yutang’s  our  images of the convent of the Basilica of St Francis that work together.  Assisi left a wonderful reassurance in the goodness of life even with all of it’s extremes.


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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.


Color Me Pretty

September 6th, 2013

Daniel Pontius

When I’m shopping for vintage and antique textiles, I organize my shopping by color themes. I like the colors to at least wink at each other, if they don’t speak. These are Geija sleeve textiles, a Dong dowry textile and a hand embroidered Hmong piece. Check out our newest items at PontiusShop






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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Dongcheng District, Beijing

June 22nd, 2013

Daniel Pontius

Walking around Baochao Hutong in Beijing.

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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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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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