When I was younger I used to draw a lot as a sort of therapeutic activity to balance out the dull theory-based learning of school. The repeated line, sound of pencil on paper and feel of the movement helped with getting into the mindset where my thoughts would clear and I was able to draw pictures that came out very naturally. I first got into weaving during my second year studying textile design at Turku university of applied sciences. Weaving on a traditional floor loom is all about the repetitive motion of beating the weft into place. The physicality of weaving pleased me and I had been looking for a method of working, that would get me into the flow -state through movement.
Traditionally the weaving process begins with a finished product already in mind. Therefore the creative work is done before warp is even put into the loom! What is left to do is the technical production of the woven piece, which I personally find quite dull on its own. I like to have the option of changing my mind many times during the process and trying new techniques quite suddenly.
However as a method weaving can be much more than just the means to an end. This is what Saori style weaving is also all about:
“SAORI is a free-style hand weaving with no rules and restrictions. SAORI is an art form in which we express our true selves in weaving. There is no samples to follow, and there is no mistakes in weaving. Weavers just weave what they want to with a complete freedom and creativity.
To weave fleely is not easy sometimes. We live in a world with many kinds of rules and restrictions. We are unconsciously affected by those rules and restrictions, and it often can be very difficult for us to get rid of our fixed notions and to express our hidden creativity in weaving.”
The point is not necessarily to make a product, but to release one’s own creativity. The end result is an artistic creation. Sometimes these weavings are made into clothes or made to serve some other function, but this is often only an afterthought.
I first learned about Saori weaving last summer. The idea that you could weave for the sake of weaving alone seemed to me a possible way out of this very constricted world of what was expected of me. I don’t want to be just making more things and at the same time I also don’t want to declare myself as just an artist, thus cutting myself off the world of commercial design. I hope that I can make those two worlds co-exist in my life and Saori could be the way to do this.