As promised :-)
I first saw SAORI weaving on Ravelry (no surprise there then) - made by Terri in Canada. Her website and blog are both great and gave me lots of inspiration - and also a lot of affirmation that freeform weaving could be a valid form of expression and could also retain the functional appeal of textile. Also, like a lot of my craft stuff, I like to wander into the free-range realm quite often, and it's nice to know I'm not alone in that place :-)
Some more digging led me to research the SAORI philosophy in a bit more depth. SAORI is actually a trademark now of the people who make the looms, but it is much more than a name or a technique. I recommend you have a look at SAORI Worcester's site, especially here and here, which describe it far better than I ever could :-)
I think what appeals to me most about this philosophy is the celebration of the unique, the no-mistakes approach and the meditative qualities. Something that clicked with me was one of Misao Jo's principles:
Kikai to ningen no chigai o kangaeyou / Consider the differences between machines and people
Hmmm. Yeah. I like that one. It takes me back to my days of studying ceramics and the importance of the hand of the potter in bringing a piece to life. Perfection never interested me when working with clay (still doesn't) - one of the many clashes I had with my idiot lecturers :-) It also calls to mind the philosophies of William Morris and John Ruskin. Interesting. I could chew over this one for a while, and probably will :-)
And this principle I adore:
Kira-kira kagayaku me o motou / Let's look out through eyes that shine
Being open to seeing beauty in everything (remember Morris again!) is something that I've strived for (striven? strived?) over the years. It has been noticed that I look at the world in a "funny way", or see things that other people don't notice. This is probably because I look, rather than just seeing. I tend to bump into things and am at risk of falling down holes, because I'm always gawping somewhere and not looking where I'm going :-)
I just had an interesting thought. I reckon, if I had been born five or ten years ago, rather than 30-odd (aargh) I'd probably have been diagnosed as autistic already :-) I think I meet quite a few of the criteria. Hah. One part of this is the one aspect of SAORI that I really appreciate, but only on an intellectual level, which is the community / group aspect. I think it's great, but I'm not sure I could do it. My social uncomfortable-ness (I can't think of another way of putting it!) seems to be increasing as I get older, rather than decreasing. Though saying that, maybe this sort of activity would be beneficial. More to ponder on. Like-minded people and all that. I spend a lot of time, when I'm in the company of other people, thinking "what am I doing here? What are they thinking? Why am I not having fun like they are? I really don't want to be here..." It used to bother me a LOT, but I think I got over that. Now I don't really care :-) and spend as much time away from social situations as possible. I got better things to do...
Anyway, enough cod-psychology for now. I'm a third of the way through sleying the reed so I need to extract digit and go thread warps. Pictures soon, promise.