I first learned about SAORI in 2009 in my search for adaptive tools to enable me to continue weaving in spite of my own severe carpal tunnel symptoms. I was immediately impressed by the inclusive philosophy, accessible and user-friendly looms and tools, and the beauty of the improvisational weavings. Since then I have explored both traditional and SAORI weaving, and have been fortunate to learn from a wonderful Japanese teacher Mihoko Wakabayashi, of SAORI Worcester (Worcester, MA).
I have introduced SAORI weaving to public school children in the Philadelphia recreation system, to homeless and physically-challenged neighbors in churches, shelters and health facilities, and to the general community through my participation in Arts Street Textiles: handmade with the homeless. My own excitement at discovering SAORI continues undiminished, and I love enabling others to experience the peace, pleasure and freedom to be found in weaving SAORI-way.
After many years of teaching quilting, knitting, and other textile arts in the community, I am delighted to bring together my interests in fiber arts and community health at Ready to Hand. Besides my own textile activities, I’ve worked for decades as a public interest lawyer, community activist and arts leader. I remain passionate about community values and responsibility, and try to incorporate these values into all aspects of my weaving work and artistic life.
Leslie Sudock, September 2013