Ateget’s Interiors, The Office for Soft Architecture

“We are furnished by our manners and habits. Yet we can’t knowingly possess our own ways.” Page 50

I found this concept really interesting. It reminded me of something I heard recently about how we cannot know ourselves as others know us. The concept seems similar to what the author is saying, in that these manners and habits are subconscious and difficult to discern about ourselves but easily interpreted by others.

“A room situates the cadence of habit.” Page 50

“Each mantel becomes an opportunity for a still-life composition. A plenum of bric-a-brac archives a poignant symmetry.” Page 50

“By ‘general’ we mean the catalogue of habits invisible to their devotees, habits received  through familial, neighborhood, economic, and trade identifications, rather than traits acquired through willful acts of personality. This ceremonial, and thus general, function of rooms reveals itself in the disposition of furnishing. In bedrooms, coverlets, and dressing tables impersonally express shopping, grooming, and housekeeping rituals.” Pages 50, 59

I feel like these passages capture what makes it so intriguing to look into a stranger’s home: to get a first impression of someone you’ve never met by studying the habitat of their life, or gain a new perspective on someone you’re getting to know by observing things about them that are not learned through conversations. 


This past week I have been experimenting with two new shibori techniques: pole wrapping and a technique I found through a YouTube tutorial called Ori Nui. 

For my first Ori Nui sample I used a woven silk. It turned out nice but I immediately understood why the YouTuber was using cotton instead; it lends itself much better to this technique. I found that Ori Nui is more successful with structured, stiff fabrics because they hold the stitched pleats better than lightweight fabrics.

With my second two samples I used cotton and experimented with wrapping up the space between stitched pleats and leaving it loose.

Afterwards I wanted to try making the stitch lines closer together and see the difference between using damp or dry fabric. The darker of the two is the sample that was dry prior to dyeing. I found that the closer the stitch pleats are to one another the more dye seems to seep between them. With both of these samples I bound most of the spaces between the pleats, except for a few in between the closer together rows. The closely spaced rows with wrapped up spaces in-between seem to have more variation of dye penetration within the folds than the areas not wrapped up but, because the pleats are so close together, it’s hard to tell.

I also tried doing diagonal pleats with wrapped up spaces on a piece of cotton.

With my pole wrapping samples I want to work through the instructions from the book posted on Canvas as well as any curiosities that arise as I go. I got two PVC pipe pieces with different circumferences (8” and 15”).

This is my attempt at the Horizontal Stripes (hosoito yoko kairyō). Not as perfect as the example in the book but I like it.

I also tried Diagonal Stripes (hosoito ichido kairyō) but it ended up looking more like Wind In The Pines (matsukaze arashi). I tried to keep my thread wrapping consistent but I think the level of accuracy seen in the book is only achieved through years of practice. I also tried Pine Winds Crossing (matsukaze koshi). 

In my first attempt to achieve Pine Winds Crossing I got confused with the alteration of clockwise and counterclockwise wrapping of thread and fabric and ended up doing the same direction twice but on different sides of the fabric. At first I only saw my mistake in not achieving the pattern but after it dried I noticed that although I dyed it twice in the same direction I had switched which side of the fabric was out and which side was against the pole. The Pole Wrapped fabrics have a clear front (the side exposed to dye) and back (the side against the pole), but with this mistake I was able to create a fabric that is the same on the front and back. The effect is subtle but, when compared to the Horizontal Stripes, I can see it gave the stripes more depth and variation in color.

Lastly I experimented with doing Horizontal Stripes then Diagonal Stripes on the same piece of fabric and the difference in pattern caused by the two different sized pipes. The smaller sample was done on the smaller pipe and created a smaller scale pattern than the one done on the wider pipe.

I’m hoping to spend more time this week working through the rest of the samples in the book.

My fiancé doesn’t really understand any of this, but—to his credit—he is good with clocks.

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