Join us on Worldwide Knit in Public (WWKIP) Day as we explore the art of Weaving with Intertwine Arts (formerly SAORI Arts NYC).
Teaching artists from Intertwine Arts will be outdoors with looms and fiber for weaving at The Endless Skein from 1:00-4:00pm on Saturday, June 10, 2023. Bring your families and friends!
The weaving is free, but any donations to Intertwine Arts would be greatly appreciated! Intertwine Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring creativity, joy, and self-confidence through freestyle weaving for people of all ages with disabilities and chronic illness.
The afternoon walk-up session is a great way to get a little taste of Saori Weaving. If you would like to dive a little deeper, we are also offering a group class led by Intertwine Arts that morning (Saturday, June 10) from 10am-noon. In this paid workshop for beginner weavers, each student will have 2 full hours of instruction on a dedicated Saori loom. Space is very limited, so don't delay!
Read on to learn more about Intertwine Arts!
In 2021, we interviewed Hannah Katz, an artist who works with Intertwine Arts, about the organization and about SAORI weaving. We were delighted to have chosen Intertwine Arts as the beneficiary of The Endless Skein's Summer Giving 2021 Project.
- Please tell us about the history of SAORI weaving.
SAORI is a combination of the Zen term sai, which means “the dignity of the individual,” and the Japanese word ori, which means “weaving.” SAORI weaving was created in Japan by Misao Jo in the late 1960s.
A homemaker who started to weave when she was 57, Misao was surprised when a mistake in her first piece produced an unexpected beauty. Inspired, Misao began to develop a weaving method that embraced imperfections and spontaneity.
- What are some of the benefits of freestyle weaving for people with disabilities and chronic illness?
The arts are proven to have a beneficial impact on mental and physical health and in the management of chronic and terminal illness. Our hospital programs combat the emotional distress caused by difficult diagnoses and intensive or invasive treatment, and improve the experience of the overall hospital environment. In addition to the hospital site, we work with organizations that serve people with disabilities and chronic illness and caregivers.
In our workshops, people experience joy in the creative process, pride in themselves and their creations, and community. We believe everyone’s artwork reflects their unique self, and so we celebrate all artistic choices.
This supportive and open-ended approach gives people with disabilities—whose creative talents are often sidelined or ignored—confidence to express themselves freely.
Weaving is a tactile, multisensory experience. Participants often say that weaving with us is relaxing, fun, and exciting. Most importantly, we can see their happiness and feelings of accomplishment in the huge smiles on their faces.
- How has Intertwine Arts continued to carry out its mission during the pandemic?
The organization actually grew during the pandemic! We immediately switched our work to a remote format. We produced 4 instructional, at-home weaving videos and distributed 250+ free at-home weaving kits.
We forged new organizational partnerships and we have been offering virtual weaving workshops over Zoom with adults and children with disabilities across NY since August 2020.
- Tell us about the work you do with Sister Pat’s Kids Camp.
Sister Pat's Kids Camp, located in Esopus, NY, on the Marist Brothers' 120-acre retreat center is a one-week overnight camp for children with cancer and serious blood disorders. Sister Pat’s was founded in 1986, and is supported by Saint Helen’s Parish in Westfield NJ. In 2019, 75 children, ages 6-14 years old, experienced all the usual camp activities of swimming, sports, nature activities, and arts and crafts.
Intertwine Arts teaching artists bring looms for campers to weave and create projects such as bags, pillows, and stuffed animals from their own woven fabrics. The weaving space is also an oasis for kids who aren’t allowed to swim or join a more rigorous activity. In 2020, 80 Intertwine Arts circle weaving kits were included in a camp care package sent to campers who could not attend due to the pandemic.
- If someone is interested in trying out SAORI weaving, what would they need to get started?
To try out weaving for yourself, all you need is an open mind. For weaving with minimal equipment, folks can check out our videos for at-home weaving activities with materials they can find around their house. If you’re a weaver (or a knitter or a crocheter or another type of fiber artist), you can be inspired by the SAORI principles in your chosen art form.
These principles include embracing the “imperfections” that make your work unique, and experimenting with a no-rules approach. For folks who are interested in diving deeper, there are specially designed SAORI looms for all abilities. There are also a number of excellent books on SAORI weaving and garment-making. We would be delighted to hear from any members of The Endless Skein community who are inspired to try weaving or are already weavers.
- What are some ways members of our community can help out Intertwine Arts and Sister Pat’s Kids Camp?
We would be overjoyed to connect with members of The Endless Skein community. Here’s how people can get involved:
* Sign up for our mailing list (best way to learn about events and future volunteer opportunities) and follow us on social media (@intertwinearts on Instagram/FB)
* Donate through our website to support more workshops—even small donations mean so much to us. (You can also donate to Sister Pat’s Kids Camp on their website.)
* Attend our events (past artist talk webinars with weavers are published on our website with more coming this fall).
* We’re looking for more board and advisory board members! If anyone is interested in getting more involved with our work, reach out by email to email@example.com.
* If you would like to bring Intertwine Arts programs to your organization/school/community group serving people with disabilities or chronic illness, reach out to our Program Manager Danaleah through firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How has Intertwine Arts grown since the 2021 interview?
You can use this widget to input text into the Intertwine Arts has doubled its number of programs, incorporated new types of accessible weaving tools and techniques, and continued to use SAORI looms with its adaptive equipment. We have maintained our virtual programming to reach those who continue to isolate, while also widening the range of projects to include narrative weaving, jewelry-making, holiday themes, and more. In-person Intertwine Arts workshops can be seen in day habilitation centers, hospitals, libraries and festivals. Our burgeoning weavers show their creativity in an amazing range of fiber art including dolls, pillows, clothing, pompoms, giant collaborative banners, and beyond! .