Luxurious alpaca fibre, sensational silks and delightful cottons combine to create SAORI woven cloths. I transform each cloth into wonderful one off pieces of wearable art in my studio on my alpaca farm in Darnum.
In February 2016 I travelled to Japan to learn the art of SAORI weaving with Misao Jo and her son, Kenzo Jo. Misao Jo is 103 years old and still weaves her freeform style of weaving every day. Working and sleeping at their studio for 11 days was quite an experience and one I will treasure always.
I spin, dye and weave my own alpaca fleeces from my 60 plus herd. I plan the design and colours for each piece prior to working with the fibre. The amount of cotton or silk which goes into the garment is determined by the design and the final drape I am seeking.
Being based on my farm—where I also have a shop and café—I try and find time to weave or prepare fibre every day as a form of relaxation. However sometimes it is not that relaxing if I am weaving a current piece, assembling another and starting the journey for another with spinning and dying. Often there are many tasks going on all at once and I think the alpacas see me as a crazy woman running from building to building.
Colour is very important with SAORI weaving. I always have a camera in my pocket to photograph landscapes and my surrounds and use these colours in my work. Weaving is painting with fibre.
Working in fashion I never stop designing so my scribbles are everywhere but I am at my happiest when I see my garments come to life as clients select one which speaks directly to them.