There's an obvious difference between a seasoned artist working on a delicate oil painting and a child drawing on paper with a wax crayon. The obvious difference is skill, even aesthetic value or beauty. The difference I think about more though is freedom; unrestrained, unprompted actions, splayed across any canvas of that child's liking-it's the paper now, but when you aren't looking, the crayons trail across the floor, onto to the wall-you leave this child in a room for half an hour, you can expect to return to a riot of colour, of pure improvisation.
That is SAORI.
A child-that was who I was on the first day of my internship at Shuttles & Needles; the yarns were my crayons, and I tried my first scribbles, throwing whatever surfaced to my mind at the moment. I think I understood then, that SAORI was just as much about unlearning as it was about learning. It's a struggle, especially when you've spent a good portion of your life planning and executing, controlling and restraining. Saori is strange in that it helps me unwind, unthink. I lean on intuition and let the journey take me, trying not to worry about the destination. I still worry sometimes, but I'm optimistic about change.
SAORI is beautiful because I can recognise it in people. It's in one's eyes when they see what I've woven for the day, it's in another’s smile when they can read my mood based on the colours I've woven onto my loom, and it's found a place in me as well. It makes me honest, and I am more than happy to embark on this journey, with Saori all around me.
I know it'll stay with me for a long, long time.
Shriram is a Textile design student interning at Shuttles & Needles.
SAORI is a contemporary Japanese weaving style. Pl click here to read more about SAORI weaving