Look Out Through Eyes That Shine

One of my goals for 2016 was to go to visit another SAORI studio. During the summer Paul came to me with the idea of him going to a leadership retreat. One of the locations was in Chaska Minnesota, perfect another SAORI studio was there. I contacted Chiaki O'Brien of SAORI Studio Fun, and Paul signed up for his retreat. October couldn't come quick enough. 

When we got closer to the time of the retreat I contacted Chiaki again to work out our meeting up for some studio time. It just happened that between our first contact in June and October when we would be there, Chiaki had accepted an artist in residence position.  She purposed that instead of a day at the studio I meet her at the Blake School. What a great opportunity. I looked up the Blake School and found out it was started in 1900. It's a private school that has 3 campuses, the location in Hopkins has the lower school (grades K-5) and a middle school (grades 6-8). The location in Wayzata has a lower school and the upper school (grades 9-12) is located in Minneapolis. We wouldn't know until the week before our visit what location and grade she would be working with.

On the day that I was there, she was at the Lower School, (grades K-5) in Hopkins. The class she was working with that day would be the Kindergarten class, 2 different classes, 45 minute sessions of 20 students each. 

Sharing the loom, one moving the heddle 
and one switching the treadles
Ten looms were ready for the student to weave on. When they arrived Chiaki gave a brief explanation of SAORI weaving, "I will tell you how to use the loom. You will teach yourself to weave."  SAORI weaving is perfect for children, there are no mistakes in SAORI. The students were paired up, and worked together on one of the looms. Taking turns, each having a job to do so no one was just waiting.

Lots of colors, with sparkles of course.
After the students decided on the bobbin they wanted to start with Chiaki, Kim (the art teacher) and I walked around and assisted when needed. Winding bobbins, advancing the warp when they needed and just letting them enjoy weaving.

Loving the "fluffy stuff" inserted into the weaving
One of the classes had a substitute teacher. When the students started weaving she was having a hard time not correcting the "mistakes" the students might be having. I was interesting to watch as the students went back to their own way of weaving after she walked on to the next group. Chiaki said after that class left, she wished she would have had an extra loom to put the substitute teacher at to weave. 

Loving the colors that match his shirt.
The weavings will remain at the school and are being prepared for display. I think we all enjoyed the time together. The SAORI smile was on everyone's face. 

The SAORI smile!


Popular Posts