We BeWeave is a Saori weaving program now sponsored by the Honolulu Museum of Art School for a group of adults who live with emotional, physical, or intellectual challenges. Originally, the program began under a grant managed by VSA (Vision, Strength, Artistic Access) of the Pacific, in partnership with the University of Hawai’i Center on Disabilities Studies and the state’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Department of Labor.
Saori is free-style handweaving without rules or restrictions. The emphasis is on discovering the hidden power of creativity regardless of ones ability. The idea is that creativity and art should not be limited to able-bodied people. The instructor, Wendy Kamai, was trained in Japan at the Saori school. She brings her knowledge to Hawaii.
"All flowers are beautiful, even though each individual flower is different in form and color. Because of this difference, 'all are good'. Because everything has the same life, life cannot be measured by a yardstick. It is this individuality that makes everything meaningful and the uniqueness of each thread that creates the tapestry of life."
Misao Jo, developer of the Saori loom
Learning that weaving can be fun, our BeWeavers weave freely with assistance as needed from volunteers, creating their own designs from wall hangings to 3-dimensional weaving done on wire forms, sometimes using recycled materials. They create beautiful scarves and shawls that are occasionally offered for sale. As members of Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui, the BeWeavers participate in our biennial exhibition.