Louise Cook, director of weaveyourself.nz

Louise Cook SAORI Trainer Certificate

Louise has always had a fondness for fibre and fabric and enjoys the challenge of creating from ideas she might see or hear.

About 2009 Louise visited a local Creative Fibre exhibition and was captivated by the items on display. One of the helpers was wearing a beautiful woven vest. It was at that point that she knew she had to make room in her life for hand craft and fibre art.

At first Louise learned about felting. Many hours were spent playing and experimenting, discovering colours and different fibres. The beginning of a fibre stash started to happen.

This called for another craft to make use of the growing collection of fibre and fabric. Louise decided that now was a good time to learn about weaving. An introduction to the traditional method of weaving didn’t appeal and after further investigation she heard about Saori – a freestyle hand weaving method from Japan. In 2011 she attended a workshop in New Zealand lead by overseas Saori tutor and was fascinated with the methods and freedom of Saori weaving.

Louise Cook with Misao Jo

The beginning of Louise’s Saori hand weaving journey had begun. Very soon after that she travelled to Saorinomori (the home of Saori hand weaving) in Osaka, Japan. She stayed for two weeks and learned as much as possible about the philosophies and techniques of Saori hand weaving from Kenzo Jo and his teachers. She successfully achieved Levels 3, 2 and A from the Saori Hand Weavers Testing Association. On a return trip to Japan in 2013, Louise was presented with her Saori certificate. She is approved to lead Saori weaving groups and is New Zealand’s authorised global distributor of all Saori looms, threads, books and accessories within new Zealand.

What appeals most about Saori hand weaving is that it encourages creativity as the weaver is not conforming to patterns, rules and regulations, there are none! It is very easy to become immersed in the act of creating and rhythm of hand weaving. The textile that is fashioned on the loom is unique and lends itself to the challenge of “What can this become?”

Louise can lead a Saori weaving group at her studio or create a pop-up Saori studio at your place. All looms, tools and threads supplied. All you need to do is attend with an open mind. 

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