Barbed wire keeps sheep from going astray,
But the taught, twisted wire will rust all away.
Long after the fences wither to the ground
The gorse will keep flowering – all year round.
Whatever joys are forbidden and banned
-So long as it’s blossoms are gilding the land,
Then love will prevail and all shall be well
And we shall wake up from this sickly spell.
The words I have chosen are by my friend Dafydd Davies-Hughes. Dafydd is a brilliant storyteller and his words always take you on a wonderful journey, so real you almost feel you are there, and always with a message that stays with you.
My weaving does that for me too. I go off on my journey not knowing where it will lead but the end cloth holds those memories, tells the story and keeps the message. This poem took me back to April 2020; daily walk, warm calm days, fresh spring colours, collecting, dyeing. No time constraints. Just the strange contrast of restrictions and freedom.
I was first drawn to the practical process of hand weaving when I took a course in textiles at what was then the West Surrey College of Art and Design. Since then I have followed the path of a Craftsman Hand Weaver attending fairs, exhibitions and trade shows and sharing a textile studio with other artists.
I continued to weave, teach and exhibit in between other jobs. During this time I began asking myself how I could help people who wanted to weave but found traditional methods too intimidating. A friend introduced me to SAORI – and there was my answer. With its simplicity – no rules, no mistakes, all encompassing approach – I knew this was where I wanted to be.
So began my own SAORI journey… to Izumi, Osaka to study and train with Kenzo Jo, director of SAORI no Mori, and back to North Wales to plan what was to become SAORImôr. No rules, no mistakes, no regrets!
SAORImôr opened in spring 2014, the first registered SAORI freeweaving studio in Wales.