|The Saori looms in Mihoko's studio|
|Mihoko and one of her students Glenn|
|technique for 3 clasped weft weaving|
I shared some of my woven pieces. She was especially intrigued by the piece I had woven Saori style on the Blazing Shuttles warp. She took photos of it to show one of her students Kris Nelson who space dyes her own warps. Kris will be teaching a workshop for Mihoko's students soon. Mihoko and her apprentice Annie were also every interested in our fiber guilds Oatland Mighty Oak fiber installation in Savannah. So I shared some photos I had of it on my iPad. It was great to be able to share experiences with Mihoko.
The two hour session (only $20 including materials as it was my first time) went so quickly! After cutting my sample off the loom we were ready to go to lunch. The Saori way of ending a weaving is so easy. Kenjo Jo the inventer of the loom designed a long dowel with a groove cut the length of it. The dowel is placed under the warp near the beater leaving plenty of warp yarn for fringe and so it doesn't unravel. A very thin long stick is pushed into the groove. And the warp is turned around the dowel and stick a few times and placed on the tray until the whole piece can be tied easily to start the next weaving. Genius!
Mihoko arranged for us to have a Mediterranean lunch with two of her longtime students and friends Susan Gardner and Alice Webb (the moderator of the Facebook Saori Weaving group. What fun it was to be able to relax and discuss Saori with kindred spirits. Susan is an inner city 4th grade teacher and Alice is a landscape architect in their other lives.
Mihoko showed me where her storefront studio had been and explained that she had to move because of how wonderful yet distracting it was to have drop in visitors all day every day. Her current studio is in a very urban neighborhood of two story clapboard homes. She has a very long one story nondescript building down the driveway. It's not beautiful and there isn't even a sign to say what magic lies beyond the door, but once you step inside you can feel the energy.
We wound our way past downtown to the other side of Worcester where the Sprinkler Gallery was housed in a former factory building that now is home to several small artist studios. The gallery is on the 2nd floor. Once we turned the corner my eyes lit up to see a light filled gallery brimming with colorful textured Saori clothing, wall hangings, banners and more! It must fill Mihoko's heart with such joy to see the work of her students so beautifully displayed. The high factory windows let light stream in and the exceptionally tall walls were draped with cascades of woven fabric banners.
Mihoko did a beautiful job curating the show, finding the perfect way to display each piece. Novice beginner weaving was intermingled with more seasoned expert weavings and even some of her own work.
I was particularly drawn to the rainbow banner with loopy selvedges that Mihoko wove displayed on one corner with one woven in a more controlled way by her student Glenn, an older man who comes a couple times a week to weave in her studio. There were several beautiful pieces by David who is dealing with a loss of short term memory due to head injury and is able to create wonderful fabric that Mihoko helps him turn into garments. The women we had lunch with also had standout pieces... I loved Susan's open weave wall hanging and was pleased to see a SOLD sign on it though it was grossly undervalued at only $40... It was about 2' wide by 6' long!
|Susan Gardner's weaving|
|detail of Susan Gardner's weaving|
|woven wall hanging by Alice Webb|
|detail of weaving by Alice Webb|
|Space dyed banners by Kris Nelson|
Article about Loom in Essence in Worcesters Telegram.
Here's another article about the show.
|images of Mihoko's elastic woven tunic|
|weavings by Glenn (banner) & David (top)|
|detail of weaving by Susan Gardner|
|woven Saori dress by Leslie Sudock of Ready to Hand Saori studio, Philadelphia|
|detail of Leslie Sudock's dress|
|Winter jacket by Mihoko|
Instead of starting for home after all of this stimulation I turned toward Boston to go to Framingham to see the work of an old friend, Stacey Piwinski. More about this in my next post.