The SAORI Canada-US Conference and Post-Conference took place in Georgia over the last several days. For those of us who have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Japan, it was an opportunity to finally meet Kenzo Jo, Akiko Jo, Misako, and so many of the wonderful Japanese instructors. It was an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the SAORI philosophy, learn a few new tips and tricks, and to be acquainted with a community of SAORI weaving enthusiasts. The Conference itself included several workshop sessions for individual selection – skills acquisition as well as business information for potential new studios. The post-conference was a bit more structured and moved through a myriad of weaving techniques related to warp and weft manipulation and yarn structure. From the photos above, there was also discussion about clothing construction, during which we all were able to see Misako work her magic with a piece of cloth and a mannequin. Finally, there was the optional testing component. This is something that I participated in and earned my Grade 3 (initial) testing.
As many of you are aware, conference is not only a chance for learning and camaraderie: we also get to salivate over all of the new and limited edition SAORI product! Most years you can expect a limited edition ready-made and set of yarns. Apparently, the theme was “red silk” because it was everywhere. First, the Limited Edition Red Silk Ready-Made – 200 threads x 6m – $114
This year, there were also several new books released. The first was a long awaited English version of the Beginners’ SAORI Clothing Design. It has been
reprinted from its original Japanese version to full English text and images. It contains 12 patterns with limited sewing and cutting and is priced at $26. Additionally, they also released an Intermediate SAORI Clothing Design pattern book. This is a completely Japanese printing; however, like the Japanese pattern books before it, the diagrams are very clear and (for the most part) all-inclusive. This book is a bit graduated in terms of level of difficulty. It contains 9 patterns, some of which are skirts, dresses, and pants and is priced at $32. Finally, there is a book that is part inspiration and part instruction. It contains books, stuffed animals, slippers, and a myriad of other projects that are perfect for small pieces of cloth. Within the section on bags and totes, there are step-by-step photographs describing finishing methods. It is priced at $42. All of these new items are available through our shop. Either contact us direct with questions/ requests or visit our Etsy shop for expanded descriptions.
Hope to see everyone again at conference in 2 years!!!