I mentioned it later on the Adult Rope Arts yahoo group, commenting that it seemed like something Da Vinci would have come up with if he were more kinky. It was a functioning machine, with a human as a working part, also designed to produce an effect on said human. More than that, though it was an Asian model (DragonLily) and used bamboo and (apparently) hemp, the “device” itself was a prime example of the beauty and ingenuity of Western style bondage.
Turns out I was even more right than I thought about the ingenuity part. James Mogul (an excellent artist in his own right) wrote that he’d talked with Lew about that shoot, and that it had been inspired by the artist Haffnium.
If you compare the two images (well, the drawing and the resulting creation) you can see where the idea met the harsh truths of reality, and where reality turned out to be even more appealing than the fantasy (mmmm, dark wet nipples!). I think there tends to be a school of thought among rope that we need to be “exact” in order to be “authentic.”
Really, I think the opposite is true: any time you are copying someone else’s work, the more exact you get, the less authentic you are. The only way to be authentic is to be yourself. Looking at the intention of the tie, figuring out what your own intentions are, and going from there creates a much stronger foundation to work from. I don’t think Lew had that picture sitting there, trying to recreate every join and knot–I suspect he looked at the model, and started putting things together, and the result…well, see for yourself. Especially the smiles afterwards.
Video gallery of the scene and some of his other work is here.