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No Anonymous Characters

tidalSandStrirationsOk! Another wonderful weekend Saori workshop with a great group, weaver houseguests, sunny warm days, warp rescues, beach magic and cake! What more could anyone ask for in life. The images here were connected by Amanda and her image of tidal sand striations at Manning Point. The weave is the final demo of the weekend – weaving without a reed.

No reed usually means no weft in that the warp threads crowd up much too cosily hiding the weft. But it can be overcome by forcing the heddles into a cramming and spacing situation. I did this with clothes pegs as used at Saori central. If you don’t have a Saori loom or similar with clearance at the top of the shafts you could certainly rig something up. Afterall that is what weaving is all about – adapting and thinking, thinking, trying, sampling.

Hover of the weavers

hover of the weavers

One of the most delightful aspects of weavers is the ‘dance’ they do regularly and always in my workshops! It’s a ‘hover of the weavers’. When a piece of cloth handwoven from the maker comes out, we hover, touch and show a bit of our hearts so easily. We try to imagine it was us creating that cloth and we see a window into the maker and make an instant connection. I just love it. I know it can sound soppy as I write it but it is such a powerful feeling. Cloth surely unites us in some small way and creates an instant injection point to connect with others.

Red warp weaveThe dark side?

Different to other workshops in the studio, this one had mostly very experienced weavers in it. Some [ Meg ] came from afar to investigate my possible defection to the dark side and offer rescue if needed! 🙂 What does Saori offer to established and experienced weavers who value the weavers’ skillset of perfect selvages, regulated perfection and mathematical structure.   Is it an undoing or regression? These are great questions and nice to discuss with wine.

I personally don’t see any conflict with traditional approaches and the opportunities offered by Saori free style weaving. I love it all and I am still learning everyday about the craft of weaving. The Saori approach appeals to a very wide range of people which is enriching the whole craft at present.

Spinning on a drop spindleYarn delights

Of the many highlights of the workshop one lovely extra was Emma’s demo spinning on a Petlyn drop spindle and plying a ‘beehive’ yarn with a Saori bobbin. Emma is really a yarn technologist coming from a family of spinners and weavers. Her feel for twist and yarn control enabled her to create a special yarn with the absolute minimum of equipment. Of course she managed the Saori bobbin winder spinning in a second. Thank you Emma!

Woven Saori cloth with irregular threading

Wacky threadings

Strangely and perhaps subconsciously I had most of the looms threaded in more wacky threading arrangements. You can see this delightful work by Barb with the threading adding to the irregularity and movement of the weave.


Saori clothIt’s also rare that the beauty of the black warp is bought forward in this type of weaving but Gail did it beautifully. Combining the black cotton warp with special yarn and some of the techniques for creating texture with flat yarns worked really well for her. Weavers work with a knowledge that reveals in quite dramatic and studied ways.

white silk warp

Gerdi was with me for her third workshop. I’m so happy that she comes up to inspire me!  She was working on not one but two warps. This one shown is a white silk pre-wound which she works her magic on. She will be with her loom in a pop up shop at the Dungog festival shortly.

the warp rescueAmanda helped me out with some skein winding and especially with a total warp rescue at over 300 ends through the heddles and reed, fully warped without the benefit of a cross. A remarkable exercise in patience and tenacity. Thank you again. And thank you warmly to all of the participants for an inspiring workshop.

Story of Meg

Meg is a long time weaver and blogger who has connected many weavers on the internet and run weaving projects linking us over many countries. Projects such as Pics to Picks Design Challenge and the Small Scarf Virtual Exhibitions. After eight years of this type of connection we met her for the first time for the workshop. Waiting for her at the airport was a bit like meeting an internet date! The Internet can really be an amazing place sometimes and meeting Meg is one of those. See and read her experiences here.

As far as Saori vs all other weaving goes I can safely say that no cloth left the studio with a hint of suggestion that it had the anonymous characteristics sometimes present in manufactured cloth. Each cloth was utterly unique. Not one could be called anonymous.



5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Meg #

    Thank you again, Kaz, for a lovely time and the awesome cake! I’m looking forward to some reflecting and “quiet” weaving in the basement for the rest of the year.

    August 20, 2014
  2. Kaz, thank you for sharing the delights of your recent weaving weekend. It is always inspirational to hear and see the breadth and infinite variety that is Saori weaving (sort of like people hey?)

    August 22, 2014
  3. Emma #

    Hi Kaz

    Thank you for a terrific weekend – very inspirational!


    August 23, 2014
  4. Thank you Meg, Heather and Emma! Yes, basement weaving is nice and also group weaving with cake.

    August 23, 2014
  5. I had a fantastic weekend……I’m presently deciding what to order along with a new Saori loom. The whole workshop was a real revelation….whole new way of thinking! Thank you so much. Barb

    August 25, 2014

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