Dining Chair Tattoo's

Your home is a perfect place to reflect your passions, pursuits, and your history. For the clients of the Clyde Hill Contemporary house, we had the opportunity to explore and highlight the ancestral heritage they value.

This idea evolved from just toying with the concept of a modern industrial aesthetic, sort of along the "Steampunk" theme that our client's like. We brainstormed many different things, and one thought was to explore the designs and patterns in the world of tattoos, which is part of the Steampunk culture, and has an edgy young/old quality to it.  We realized the linear nature of these patterns could be "drawn" on fabric in the form of embroidery.  What if we embroidered an emblem on the backs of the dining chairs?  This propelled us to think of what would be the most meaningful "tattoo" for this family.  And knowing that the dining experience is a strong family bonding time, this led us to explore their ancestry.  

For Matt and Traci, we immediately assumed the Irish/Scottish heritage was the direction to look for patterns and iconography.  But Matt surprised us by letting us know that half of his heritage is with the Aleut Native American tribe in Alaska.  We were further surprised once we started research on the Aleuts, because they frequently used a scroll design that was very similar to the Celtic symbols.  They also used a vertical line down the middle of decorated objects, which to us was reminiscent of a spine.  So of course a vertical spine reference on the back of a chair seemed so appropriate!  After playing with these designs, we felt the symbolism of the scroll, which in the Celtic description was one of renewal and birth, was perfect. Our design set up two scrolls back to back so as to not intertwine, but to support each other.  




Aleutian hunting hat decorations.

Aleutian ocean fishing hat.

Aleutian ocean fishing hat.


Celtic carvings.


Dining chair.jpg

After a lot of coordination to make this happen, which included making a new friend, the fabulous textile artist Mardee Austin of Mbelleish Designs; the tattoo chairs were finally placed in the dining room just before the holidays last year.  By all accounts, everyone was very pleased with the outcome.  


Marilyn Deering