Be Bold and Adventurous

Pink, red, orange, and yellow flowers

Last week, we considered the meaning of the first principle of SAORI weaving: Consider the difference between human and machine. This week, we look at the second principle: Be bold and adventurous. 

You may wonder what being bold and adventurous has to do with weaving. After all, what could be risky about sitting down at a loom?

Despite the lack of any physical risk (provided you are not weaving on the slope of an active volcano), the thought of creating something without pre-designed instructions does often feel intimidating or risky to many people. When we engage in a creative activity, it can make us feel exposed and vulnerable, as we reveal some of our individuality in a very raw way. This is especially true if we are new to the craft, or don’t tend to think of ourselves as creative or artistic people. When we make something by hand, we are in some ways opening ourselves up to criticism (whether or not we actually receive any) and we worry about making ‘mistakes’ or showing something off which isn’t ‘perfect’.

Basket of multi-coloured threads next to a pile of unspun colourful skeins

I am someone who gets very anxious about making mistakes or falling short of the mark. Practising improvised theatre and free-form arts like SAORI have helped me to see that chasing perfection is a waste of time and completely unenjoyable! Yet, it is easy to be intimidated by the thought of putting yourself out there – potentially to fail. 

The second principle acknowledges these fears and concerns but invites us to throw them aside courageously. SAORI weaving is for everybody: here, there is no such thing as a ‘creative person’ or an ‘uncreative person’. Everybody has the ability to be creative, whether or not we were praised for our artistic abilities in school. That said, many craft forms require a great deal of specialist knowledge and equipment; a huge investment, which can put people off from trying something new. With SAORI looms, on the other hand, it is easy and quick to pick up the techniques and start playing and experimenting from day one. You don’t even have to buy a loom – you can have a go at weaving on an open day or participate in a workshop with looms and materials provided. 

Woman holding a handmade brown, green and red-stripedweaving

The SAORI weaving techniques are simple and accessible for all ages and abilities, which means that nothing should hold you back from being bold and adventurous. There are no rules as to what colours, materials, or even non-textile items you can use – people have incorporated  feathers, leaves, cut up clothes, and even paper into their weavings. I like to put ‘treasures’ into my weavings: these are colourful bits and bobs in my stash that can easily be put into a weaving whenever I feel like it to give little surprises at different points. 

SAORI weaving offers one way to inject a little colour and adventure into our lives, where mistakes don’t exist and the rules don’t matter. If every weaving is unique, why not be bold? Hence the second principle of SAORI weaving.

Have a look at the bold and adventurous weavings past workshop participants have created in the Gallery.

by Jessica Edney