I’ve been at the art residency in the Kuusisto Art Manor for about 3 weeks and so far made two rugs, a brooch, Saori scarf, a wall hanging and a Saori inspired woven necklace. I think my mind is slowly gearing towards making art jewellery, despite having been pretty exhausted by it in the spring. I find myself getting inspired by the forgotten things I find on the ground.
I’m also hosting weaving and knitting workshops in July and building light earth looms in the surrounding area. I hope many people feel inspired to do some crafts.
It’s been a while and much has happened. I graduated and got a top grade for my Saori inspired thesis, which I’ve almost translated into English. Once it’s done I will publish both language versions on my new website for anyone to download for free.
The summer is finally here and I am relocating to the artist residency of Kuusisto Art Manor. For the last week I’ve just cleaned and set up two floor looms (I have two now!!). One of them has a 30m long warp for making rugs and I am hoping to provide this and other weaving and craft related opportunities for the visitors of the manor. Right now I am thinking also of knitting picnics for sunny days. This summer has the potential to be really great.
I finished it! The dreaded BA thesis is done! What amazes me is that despite having done two other degrees before (although on a totally different topic), I still feel like I’ve completed a marathon.
Although the actual work is done, the creative process still continues. Despite the euphoria of finishing the report, I’m unsure about the finished art piece. This melancholy about the work is quite normal for me, although still an unpleasant part of the process. However it has never been an indicator of the quality of my work and I try to focus on this. Perhaps the confidence will come as I gain more experience. When I spend a long time looking at the work in progress, it becomes difficult to see past any mistakes in technique or content. But give it a month or two and I might feel differently about it all then.
Here is a little peek at the finished, Saori inspired art jewellery piece, ‘Corrosion’:
My brother is a blacksmith and helped me out with the metal pieces. It’s great to have other artisan resources at hand, so I can combine my skills with somebody else’s.
I will be translating my thesis to English during this summer (or hopefully even sooner) so that anyone who is interested in reading about Saori inspired art jewellery can do so. Particularly I’m thinking about those of you who participated in my Saori survey few months ago. The results were interesting!
My thesis process is nearing completion. I’ve finished the sketches and made some woven experiments based on them.
I thought about making all kinds of geometric woven shapes, but realised that most beautiful would also be simple; just straight woven pieces, worn around the neck. This means that I would also have to work in miniature, with thin yet dense warps.
Detail and more detail! I couldn’t help it and now I am wondering if I even have the ability to restrain myself to few material combinations. I feel that my inner design student is having a constant argument with my inner artist. The artist wants to focus on pure expression with the cost of aesthetics and the designer is screaming for pure lines, symmetry and complimentary colours. I know how to do beautiful, I just don’t want to commit to it. The end result is somewhere in between; not entirely commercial but not too provocative either. The Scandinavian greige has taken root in me too.
I hope that the Saori -philosophy will eventually help me find the sort of balance I’m happy with and maybe then I can hop between being a designer and an artist in a way that works.
I am also hosting some experimental Saori workshops at my uni this week. I’m curious to see if I can teach.
Firstly, thank you for everyone who participated in my survey, the link is now closed and I will start analysing the results!
Secondly, here are some details from the weaving experiments that I’ve been doing:
As I wove, I wanted to keep in mind impressions I have of urban decay around where I live, things like mold, rust, moss, lichen, graffiti, broken surfaces etc. Layers of organisms and marks left by humans. I ended up using a lot of natural fibers and combining them occasionally with plastic or metal (or faux fur). I also did some rust dyeing and felt printing. I particularly liked the black felt because it looks like some kind of toxic mold.
Overall I did about 3 meters of weaving and it took such a long time. Although I didn’t plan any of it, I spent so much time trying to create impressions of what I’ve seen, that I might have strayed a bit from pure self expression of saori. However this will help me with the next phase of my thesis.
The surprisingly large response to my survey has been very uplifting and now I really feel like what I’m doing is important and want to just get stuck in again. I will keep the survey open for a bit longer, so if you haven’t done it yet, just click this link!: Survey for Saori weavers.
At the moment I’m starting to enjoy weaving experiments again.
Taking pictures of the textures is too much fun.
If you do Saori weaving, please answer my survey! Takes only 5-10 minutes, is anonymous and will give me a huge help with my thesis work. Answer it here: https://www.webropolsurveys.com/S/D2DB6436E917074A.par
The reason why I am doing this survey is that I want to really understand the philosophy and see if there is much variety in how people practice it. What does Saori mean to you?
Eventually I will make my own interpretation of the 4-slogans and use these as a guide in my creative process. My goal is to make art jewellery and eventually exhibit, though some of this will go beyond the scope of my thesis. Initially the written work will be publicly available at theseus.fi, but I hope to also translate it into English and make it available either here or on my website. I hope that it will be of use to other weavers and artists.