Shibari meets circus!

This month we have been mixing shibari and circus a lot in the studio with some quite stunning results! Turns out these blend very well together and we are looking forward to continue the interchange. If you are a circus artist or dance and would like to incorporate rope into your project(s), get in touch to collaborate, book a private lesson or book our one of our shibari riggers 🙂

We leave you here with some of our favourite shots from this month’s exchanges with circus artists Amelia Cavallo, Sadiq Ali and Maisy Taylor. The shibari rope rigging is by MnR, Anna Bones and MissEris respectively. Photos by Anna Bones.

What do you think? ❤

Enjoy!

dsc_0654
Rope by MnR | Circus artist Amelia Cavallo
DSC_0436.jpg
Rope by Anna Bones | Circus artist Sadiq Ali
dsc_0590
Rope by Miss Eris | Circus artist Maisy Taylor

Shibari photoshoots at Anatomie Studio

Some times we have some fun with ropes, friends and camera. We leave you here with some of our favourite captures from the last few months 🙂

For more photos, see our personal website here.

The photos are taken by Anna Bones, the rope (unless otherwise stated) is by Fred Hatt and the models are our beautiful friends Soaprose, Gestalta, Clementine Poulain, Tsukio and two Anonymous ladies.

dsc_0918
Model Clementine Poulain // Rope Fred Hatt // Photo Anna Bones
14680951_1808856249360885_7697683186783918077_o
Model Anonymous // Rope Fred Hatt // Photo Anna Bones
14589724_1804884526424724_2906344151652834147_o
Model & Rope Soaprose // Photo Anna Bones
14481987_1804403086472868_6475615692079051588_o
Model Soaprose // Rope & Photo Anna Bones
dsc_0610
Model Soaprose // Rope Fred Hatt // Photo Anna Bones
dsc_0468-1
Model Tsukio // Rope Kazami Ranki // Photo Anna Bones
dsc_0858-2
Model Clementine Poulain // Rope Fred Hatt // Photo Anna Bones
dsc_0560-1
Model Anonymous // Rope MnR // Photo Anna Bones
dsc_0957
Model Clementine Poulain // Rope Fred Hatt // Photo Anna Bones
13412013_1756715551241622_7321876841702204378_o
Model Anna Bones // Rope Gestalta // Photo Anna Bones
dsc_0581
Model Gestalta // Rope Fred Hatt // Photo Anna Bones
14618877_1805229739723536_627949990_o
Model Soaprose // Photo Anna Bones // No rope
14468544_1806188496294327_8167376994263683976_o-1
Model Tsukio // Rope Kazami Ranki // Photo Anna Bones

Welcome to InkyLayla! Our new Drawn to Rope collaborating artist.

As many of you may know, Drawn to Rope co-creator, friend and artiste extraordinaire Dee Lu (aka, ‘SingingTree’) has taken up a job abroad and can no longer do our Drawn to Rope sessions. Although we are sad about his departure, we hear he is well and happy with his new life so we wish him all the luck!

This means we needed to find another collaborator for the event, and we have found one hell of an artist in our search – Layla or ‘InkyLayla‘ – and we are super delighted for her to be apart of this wonderful budding event.

 

InkyLayla’s twisting, abstract lines are informed by her experience using calligraphy and graffiti, partly gained during her years in the anarchic collaboration Collective-Era. Now based in the far east of London, her style is simplified and more focused, typically using just ink and water to conjure up lusty images of the female form. InkyLayla often draws inspiration from her encounters with Shoreditch strippers and the capital’s thriving fetish scene.

Website: inkylayla.com

In her own art, InkyLayla uses these wonderful splashes of colour that bring movement and life to the bodies she draws, and no doubt will be an inspiring force for any artist joining us for our shibari life-drawing sessions.


Our next Drawn to Rope takes place next Wednesday October 5th and we are thrilled to bring you two tradition Japanese Rope Bondage Artists from Japan: shibari artist Kazami Ranki and his model Tsukio. This means that this month’s one-of-a-kind session is really not to be missed!

Full details & ticket link here. Advance booking is highly recommended as over than half the tickets are now gone!

More than a body : rope bottoming matters!

“What is a rope bottom?” is one of the most frequently typed in search terms on our website, so what does it mean? A ‘rope bottom’ or ‘rope model’ or sometimes ‘rope bunny’ refer to the person inside the ropes – and ‘rigger’ or ‘rope top’ refers to the person doing the tying.

10923749_1550404155242143_5435669781371746910_o (1)

Unless you are tying a piece of furniture, rope bottoming makes up 50% of the rope equation and is a skill than can be cultivated in its own right. Luckily in the last few years there has been a real and tangible shift in rope events, classes and workshops to recognise this and there is a lot more information being delivered to rope bottoms directly in classes. There has also been an explosion of workshops, talks and events specifically for rope bottoming and it is becoming more and more common to see pre-requisites listed for rope bottoms to attend classes.

This is really exciting for us because Anatomie Studio was created by a rope bottom (Anna ‘Bones’) so we are really committed to delivering information about rope bottoming as much as about tying and rigging. As a tying duo, Fred and Anna are very aware that rope is a constant back and forth between rigger and model – the rigger’s rope brings out the strength in the model, and the model brings out the strength in the rigger.

“How can I learn about rope bottoming?”

A really good place to start learning is by reading about it. If you have joined us on a Thursday Rope Jam you will know there are two readings we always recommend: Clover’s Rope Bottming Guide (free PDF), and The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up by Evie Vane (£7.99 on Amazon). Clover‘s guide was the first ever document written specifically for rope bottoms, and for a long time it was the only document available. Clover has updated the guide this year and it is available in multiple languages.

Both these documents have plenty of important information about safety, body awareness, choosing partners, negotiating rope experiences and more. Although the readings are geared towards rope bottoming, we highly recommend these readings to those who are primarily interested in tying as well.

We also distribute free flyers with an anatomical diagram of nerves to consider in rope produced by Place des Cordes in Paris. It is really important and useful to get to know your anatomy, in particular, by locating the radial and ulnar nerves in the upper arms (by palpating and poking – you’ll know when you’ve hit a nerve!) since these are commonly affected when doing rope.

PDC nerve info sheet - printer
Our Thursday rope jams are also a great place to start because we always cover aspects about rope bottoming (the classes are in fact almost exclusively taught by rope bottoms who tie!).

“What is there to actually learn?”

It depends! It’s just like tying, some people just want to learn some basics so they can have a bit of safe fun, others want to go all in and attend all the workshops to become as proficient as they can at it. If you’re after a bit of bedroom fun, then it’s probably not super important to learn about body management in suspension, but it’s a very good idea to learn about anatomy, the different kinds of pins and needles you can get, wrap tensioning and placement, and how to use safety shears.

A lot of the rope bottoms who do rope either professionally or as part of a serious hobby tend to enjoy and benefit from activities such as yoga, aerial yoga and/or pilates. When in ropes, many times the body is being passively stretched into challenging poses, so it’s a good idea to do activities outside of rope which strengthen the body’s muscles in order to protect fragile joints during these poses.

An experienced rope bottom will also have really good body awareness and body management skills, meaning they know how to move inside the ropes and how to play with the balance in the tie from within the ropes. This requires a degree of core strength (not necessarily loads of flexibility, although that helps too), and an understanding of one’s own body and how it reacts inside the ropes. This comes with lots of practice, which is why some of the best rope bottoms have a few years of experience.

Rope bottoming also requires a good degree of pain processing abilities, because.. rope can be painful! It’s especially useful to learn to distinguish ‘good pain’ versus ‘bad pain’, meaning the kinds of pains that are not harmful (for example the kinds of pain you get after a vigorous workout), and the kinds of pains that are actually harmful (for example any kind of sharp joint pain). Sometimes this takes time to learn, so it will involve lots of trial and error until eventually your brain is able to recognise when it’s okay to push through a sensation and when it’s time to tap out.

1559540_1709179452661899_4818286207712449576_o (1)
… Which bring us to one last but super important skill: communication! Perhaps this is the most important part of rope bottoming: learning how to effectively communicate from inside the ropes. The more specific you can be, the better, this also comes with experience – for example, what kinds of pins and needles you are feeling, if there are sensations you are not enjoying, if a rope placement needs to be reviewed, etc. Communication can also be non-verbal, and this can be established beforehand. It’s also a good idea to learn how to negotiate before doing rope with someone such asking the rigger questions as well as knowing what kinds of important information to disclose. These can include: any kind of physical issues you may have (for example, you sprained your ankle and it is still fragile), any medication you may be on, the kinds of sensations you feel like/don’t feel like, or body parts you are not okay having rope on. These things can change over time or even day to day, so the conversation is always ongoing.

It’s important to acknowledge that communicating effectively can be difficult, some rope bottoms ‘space out’ and become non-verbal or forget to maintain body awareness, other rope bottoms find it difficult to express their needs or communicate unpleasant sensations out of not wanting to cause offence of because they don’t want the ropes to come off just yet. This is totally okay, the important thing is to acknowledge this and try to have a conversation about this beforehand.

“What about the person tying me?”

Just as it is difficult to learn to tie without partners, it is also difficult to learn rope bottoming without partners! After all, riggers are 50% of the equation… 🙂

The resources we mentioned above – Clover’s Rope Bottming Guide and The Little Guide to Getting Tied Up by Evie Vane – contain sections on how to meet and vet potential rope partners. In the studio we believe the safest and most fun way to learn and meet people to do rope with is by going to events and making friends (see our writing on “How to Learn Rope?”). There are lots of different rope styles and different people enjoy different techniques and sensations, so it’s really useful (and also loads of fun) to watch people tying and making friends in the community. The good thing about events like peer rope events and rope jams is that there’s lots of people around, so there’s always someone you can ask for advice or help.

12376318_1697366847212837_2251187567724749799_n
One really important factor when observing people is to notice how the person tying is interacting with their rope model – are they attentive? are they moving ropes when asked? are they untying when asked? etc. More than the rope skills themselves, this is the most important thing about rope: recognising that it is about people and that it is a partnership!

“What are these rope bottom pre-requisites for workshops?”

There are no pre-requisites for either rope bottoms or riggers for any of the beginner jams beginner jams or classes as we assume zero knowledge and provide lots of information for both. For more intermediate or advanced classes we at the very least require rope bottoms to be familiar with the differences between nerve and circulation impingement and to be able to communicate effectively.

Besides recognising rope bottoming as a skill, the pre-requisites are there for the safety of all the workshop attendees. Workshops can be intense for both riggers and models, and very physically demanding – this is especially true of suspension focused workshops.

Example of pre-requisites for a non-beginner class:

        • Riggers: must know solid three rope Takate Kote taught to you in a class, workshop, or private tuition.

        • Rope Bottoms/Models: must be comfortable in a Takate Kote (2 or 3 rope), they must be familiar with the differences between nerve and circulation impingement and be able to communicate effectively.

Inexperienced models who do not know their bodies well are less likely to communicate when something is hurting or tingling, but riggers rely heavily on model feedback in these workshop environments because often they must focus on a particular rope technique which they are learning, all the while listening to the teacher’s instruction and being mindful of others around them. This is the perfect storm for small nerve injuries and in the couple of instances where we have seen this happen, the rope models were not able to recognise nerve and circulation impingements and therefore did not communicate what they were feeling.

“Does this mean I have to be super fit and bendy to do this?”

Nope! Rope is not one size fits all, it’s a very diverse activity enjoyed by grown-ups of all ages, all physical compositions, backgrounds, genders and sexes.

Just like any physical activity, it’s about finding the kind of rope you enjoy doing and finding the kinds of rope partners who want to do that with you. Different people have different bodies, different degrees of flexibility and different pain thresholds, and the beauty is in this diversity.

It is also worth noting that although most of the shibari rope imagery online typically depicts petite young bendy girls tied by males, this is not the reality of what you will see when you go to local rope events – there are lots of male identified persons who enjoy being in the ropes, and lots of female identified persons who enjoy tying, and if you’re not into binaries, there is a lot of gender queerness in the rope scene as well. In sum, the rope bottoming world (and the rope world in general) is a lot more diverse that you may think by just googling ‘shibari’ on your browser!


For questions and more information, email us at anatomie.studio@gmail.com

“This is how it starts” : The Soap Box (June)

“This is how it all starts, with a hand, a gesture, a touch.”

Our third Soap Box event saw three beautiful moving performances with all female cast of rope artists. The three shows by our guests LacedLines & Laura Cylon, Edna & Ana, and SkinnyRedHead were raw, sensual and bold.

Because there is no story without a beginning, here are our favourite photos from the start of each show.

DSC_0292
LacedLines & Laura Cylon
DSC_0738
SkinnyRedHead
DSC_0448 (1)
Edna and Anna Capaken

More photos from the performances below:

LacedLines & Laura Cylon

 

Edna & Ana Capaken

 

 

SkinnyRedHead

 


The Soap Box is a bi-monthly evening of curiosities curated by Gestalta and brought to you by Anatomie Studio.

Websites:
http://soapboxshibari.com/
https://anatomiestudio.com/thesoapbox/

Shibari for ‘The Act, 2016’ – by Julia Fullerton-Batten

We are so excited to be able to share this image with you by multi-award winning photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten. This image is part of a collection of images from her personal project entitled ‘The Act, 2016’ which deals with the subject of young women engaged in the sex industry. We are very proud that Fred of Anatomie Studio was asked to do the rope work in this image featuring the beautiful Maisy Taylor.

Read the full interview and write-up about Maisy Taylor below!

 

559
Full set of images here.


/ / / / /  

 

Project “The Act, 2016”
Maisy Taylor, Aerial Circus Artiste

Living in boats, buses and trailers with her performing parents from birth, well spoken Miss Maisy seems to have only ever known the traveller life. When her mother began her own circus school in Brighton, it triggered a love for aerial contortion and a passion that has evolved into adulthood. Then, aged fifteen, Maisy chose to explore the performance profession over traditional academia, having realised her time as an artiste was greater spent in the air, than a classroom. Having attended a few circus events during that time, the decision was made by what fed her soul; training became her and performance became life.

Once accepted at the National Centre for Circus Arts, Maisy achieved a degree from three years of vigorous circus practice specialising in rope. “I never imagined myself doing any sort of sexual work, but now it’s something I enjoy. I like being open minded, so I focus on sexual aerial acts, like kink and such.”

Kink (spanking, restriction sex games etc), became part of Maisy’s life when several stars aligned all at once. “I had just come out of a vanilla relationship. It was very loving, but I always wanted something more…I just never realised the ‘thing’ it was lacking, was kink. So when I came out of that relationship, I decided to research my lusts a bit further and pursue what I know now. I met my current boyfriend that way infact, then we began to explore it together.”

“For performance, it’s Shibari (Japanese bondage meaning ‘to tie’) as an element of kink that I love most. It’s the pain and restriction, or loss of control, that puts you in a euphoric state of mind. It’s ineffably sublime and almost peaceful with no decisions to make. Imagine just letting yourself…be. It’s not the scary experience one might assume.”

“Having rope bound around you ensures panic by nature, but eventually you’re forced to submit to it. Once you have trained your mind to think in that way, it’s the most incredible feeling of bliss.”

Performing rope acts in this unique way, is quite the opposite to the ‘normal’ aerial work that circus school teaches. Where Maisy’s initial training taught her body about complete control, Shibari has taught her mind to enjoy a complete confliction. “I have trained myself to be able to do both, but I still get the jubilant sense of euphoria I get from kink when I’m in pain with grazes and sweaty from both acts…which I guess makes them quite similar in part”. The natural non-drug induced effect that Maisy describes, somehow makes it easier to comprehend the addiction.

Looking at young Maisy, she’s the last person we’d expect (physically) as a sex worker…and listening to her speak only supports those presumptions. Her incredibly well written blog ‘Dreaming Bruises’ expresses her innate adoration for the industry that owns her, contradicting all prejudice exposed from her refusal of academia. Which leads us to question our self aware preconceptions…of what actually is a ‘sex worker’? What does a sex worker really look like? Does a sex worker know he or she, is?

“It’s an intellectual interest. I like to watch people’s reactions when I go from being someone who is qutie sensible and innocent, to something a lot more. There is so much to sexuality that fascinates me. I want my work to connote exploring that and challenging the ideas people have, rather than it just being a ‘sexy act’. I don’t really consider myself a sex worker, but not because I wouldn’t want to be…I just feel it’s a bit melodramatic to call myself that. What I perform feels more about the subtleties of sexuality, but I guess I’m still working out if I am [a sex worker] or not.”

Maisy Taylor is beyond most capabilities on so many levels; a strong heart, strong body and strong mind. Her refreshing vision, voiced with hypnotic grace, opens eyes to the subtle beauty of unique sexuality and individual desire – that reaches new altitudes of euphoria. Maisy Taylor; of youth only by years and of maturity in every other way.

Text by Jen Brook
Interview by Julia Fullerton-Batten

Ropework at Senate House

A couple of weeks ago we were asked to do a small rope installation at Senate House (UCL) for Isobel Williams‘s new exhibition called “The Body of Law“. Pink legal tape was woven into a minimalistic rope pattern that frames the artwork. This was particularly challenging as the rope is secured to plastic hooks that are glued onto the stone walls – an interesting exercise in tension!

You can read all about her exhibition at Senate House in this blog piece.

Isobel enjoys drawing movement, and often draws in the public seats such as in the UK Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and she records her impressions on her blog isobelwilliams.blogspot.co.uk.

Isobel can also sometimes be found at various shibari events in London drawing the fast paced performances (often in dimly lit environments) where her nimble and agile pen catches not only the performers bodies but also their emotions and expressions on stage with an incredible likeness.

You can watch her explain her interest in shibari and shibari performances in a short clip for National Geographic TV over here.