Saori-Inspired by Marilou Johnstone
Tapestry weaving has a lot of rules. These rules are very important and help to define the art. That said, sometimes you don’t want rules when you weave. Sometimes you want to just let the weft guide you. This is where Saori®-inspired weaving comes in.
Saori® Weaving is a type of free-form weaving done on Saori® looms. For more on Saori weaving, go here.
To learn more about weaving inspired by Saori® on a Mirrix, I asked Mirrix customer Marilou Johnstone a few questions about her experiences doing so!
How long have you been weaving?
Marilou: Off and on for 30 years. Longer if you count the wonderful pot holder loom of my childhood.
How long have you been weaving Saori®-inspired pieces on a Mirrix?
Marilou: months ago I stumbled upon a Ravelry Saori® group. It was love at first sight.
How would you explain Saori® weaving to someone who hasn’t woven it?
Marilou: For me it is weaving with my spirt instead of my brain. There are no should, must do, can’t do, never do rules. I weave free. What comes off the loom is what is supposed to come off the loom. My first piece was done on a peg loom. I wove for the shear joy of weaving.
Have you woven Saori®-inspired pieces on a loom other than the Mirrix? If so, what are the differences you have found? Why did you choose to weave on a Mirrix?
Marilou: I have used a floor loom and a peg loom. Using the Mirrix for Saori®-inspired weaving was one of those “what if…?” things. I liked using the Little Guy because its vertical and portable. I wove most of the piece en plein air. I discovered that I really like to weave standing. The outstanding feature of the Mirrix is the ability to add in beads so easily. The beauty of Saori®-inspired weaving was when the magatamas didn’t behave the way I wanted them to. Rather than fuss and fume I added more magatamas and let them dangle. Mirrix and Saori®-inspired weaving complement each other well.
Why do you like Saori®-inspired weaving?
Marilou: I will quote from the book, “Saori Self-Innovation Through Free Weaving”, by Misao Jo & Kenzo Jo to best speak to this.
1) CONSIDER THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A MACHINE AND A HUMAN BEING.
2) BE BOLD AND ADVENTUROUS.
3) LOOK OUT THROUGH EYES THAT SHINE.
4) INSPIRE ONE ANOTHER, AND EVERYONE IN THE GROUP.
As soon as I read this I was hooked. I just knew Saori® was for me. I think it is what I have been searching for as I moved from craft to craft throughout my life. Saori is like coming home. Coming full circle in my fiber art journey.
Do you have any anecdotes about your experience with Saori®-inspired weaving on a Mirrix?
Marilou: A good friend had just passed away and I cleaned out her sewing room. I found a couple of quill stilettos. I thought one would make a nice hanger for the little piece I had planned. I wove the quill in first thing thinking that would be the top of the weaving. Throughout the entire weaving process I kept stabbing myself with the quill. To make matters worse the quill end looked more appealing at the bottom. I could have woven the quill in last.
Thanks agin to Marilou Johnstone for sharing!
Do you weave Saori® on a Saori® loom or do Saori®-inspired weaving on a Mirrix? Let us know what you have to add in the comments!
*Note: Some parts of this interview have been changed to note that, when woven on a Mirrix, this is Saori®-inspired weaving, not Saori® weaving. Saori® is a trademarked technique done on a Saori® Loom.