Are you indescribable as a weaver? Do you defy classification? Maybe SAORI weaving is for you. SAORI is a Zen approach to weaving. SA is the first syllable of the word SAI, a Zen concept meaning that everything has its own individual dignity. ORI is the Japanese word for weaving. Founded in 1968 by Japanese weaver Misao Jo, the SAORI method is designed to help weavers express themselves freely regardless of age, gender, disability or intellectual aptitude. In SAORI, people can enjoy hand weaving as an individualistic art form. There are now more than 40,000 SAORI weavers in Japan, and SAORI is taught in more than 40 countries through SAORI studios, special education schools, sheltered workshops, high schools, adult education centers, and rehabilitation centers for people with disabilities. It's founder Misao Jo, has been honored by the Japanese government for her contribution to health and education.
Loop of the Loom, the SAORI Weaving Arts Studio of New York, describes SAORI as "happy weaving," and their programs for children and adults promote self-expression, personal growth, and healing through the art of weaving. In addition to their studio classes, they have worked with schools, hospitals, and museums to bring weaving to the wider community. The SAORI studio of Worcestor, Massachussetts, recently did a community art installation, draping a park bridge with 66 banners, including a beautiful banner woven by an entire local third-grade class. What kind of weavers will those kids grow up to be? Happy ones!