SAORI® is the trademark of the Sakaiseikisangyo Company in Osaka, Japan. It covers the principles, the method of teaching and the manufacture of looms and equipment.
Misao Jo developed the idea in 1969 and when asked to name her creations she chose “SAORI” which means “Misao’s weaving”, (“ori” means “weaving” in Japanese).
Later a new interpretation was adopted as being more appropriate. “SA” has the same meaning as the first syllable of the word “SAI” which is found in Zen vocabulary. It means everything has its own individual dignity. This demonstrates that SAORI is so much more than simply a method of weaving also shown in the 4 slogans.
The 4 slogans of SAORI:
- Consider the differences between a machine and a human being
- Be bold and adventurous
- Look out through eyes that shine
- Inspire one another, and everyone in the group.
What do we mean by this?
Thanks to SAORI Worcester for the descriptions below:
1. Consider the differences between a machine and a human being
SAORI encourages people to do what only a human being can do that a machine cannot do. This is to be spontaneously original, un-programmed, making up one’s own rules and even standards of beauty as one goes along. SAORI upholds this idea within a society where we often use machine language to describe people: we may call them more or less “functional”, or refer to them as “human resources” instead of human beings. SAORI, by contrast, values each person’s precious individuality as it expresses itself in each moment. No two weavings are alike. Further, we do not anxiously strive to avoid so-called “mistakes.” Loose or skipped threads, irregular fringes, and inserted bits of yarn or other material all add to the organic liveliness, the “human-ness”, of our creative art.
2. Be bold and adventurous
Nearly all of us live within limits that owe a great deal to what we imagine about ourselves, and to what others imagine about us. We believe that we are too busy, too conservative, too disabled, too un-artistic, too “dysfunctional”, too whatever-it-is to make time for spontaneous creativity. SAORI is a doorway to a larger and richer world than the one we often think we have to live in. SAORI insists that we all have the right and the power to make choices, and to uncover what nature has tucked inside us. When we do anything that lets our inner light shine, as far from our usual track as this may take us, we invite our relationship with the world to fall into place in ways we could not have expected. Sitting at the SAORI loom, our imagined limits are often revealed to us. We then have a safe opportunity to adventure beyond them.
3. Look out through eyes that shine
SAORI awakens us to our intuitive ability to perceive beauty. As we weave SAORI, we naturally cultivate this power, and we can also make a conscious effort to do so. “Eyes that shine” are on the lookout for beauty in unexpected, un-stereotyped places: a dimple in a stranger’s face, the random arrangement of fallen leaves in the street, the rough edge of a brick, the surprising mix of colors in the weaving of the person sitting at the loom next to you. As we carry shining eyes with us everywhere, not only do they influence our art, but we ourselves slowly become gentler and more flexible as we see new beauty in ourselves, greeting the new beauty we see around us
4. Inspire one another, and everyone in the group
The SAORI way is to weave friendships as we weave fabric. Even people who have looms at home often weave in a group setting in order to learn from and help others. SAORI classes do not separate people due to age, length of SAORI experience, or disability. An experienced boy of 10 may coach a beginning woman of 60. New weavers may open new paths for veterans. A developmentally challenged adult may exchange tips with a college professor. Within groups, we encourage each other, share ideas, collaborate on projects, and draw inspiration from watching one another. Thus SAORI bridges differences between people, and celebrates both our variety and our common humanity.
This philosophy emphasises true self expression and self development by tapping into inner personal creativity and sensibilities.
Bolstered by a no rules, no mistakes philosophy, all are encouraged to explore this non technical, non intimidating approach to handweaving.
Pure absorption and immersion into weaving and working with colour, yarns and threads is meditative in nature. SAORI is valued worldwide as a valuable journey to recovery whether from stress or trauma, or from loss of direction financially or emotionally.
SAORI is a social activity. It is non judgemental and inclusive, encouraging people to work together regardless of age, ability, occupation, ethnicity or any other reason.