Hi! My name is Farrah and I am the creator and owner of Rock Pile Designs based in Anchorage, Alaska. I've included my Artist's Statement below so that you can get to know me a little better. Enjoy!
As the only daughter of a mother who exudes creativity in her every day life whether sewing, cooking, gardening or spinning wool, I picked up a needle and thread when I was very young. My mother taught me to sew doll clothes and crochet baby blankets for them as soon as I was able to ask to learn. She always included me in her creative endeavors and thus my love for creativity – especially the creativity of everyday life - began as early as I can recall, infusing my early memories as a child.
As a young student in a small rural grade school, I was afforded the opportunity to learn to play the piano through a traveling music teacher program. My parents supported my desire to learn music and purchased a piano for me to practice on. I continued formal lessons for approximately 10 years of my grade school years, concluding when I entered my senior year. This taught me discipline, a love for the arts and instilled in me an appreciation for music being a force than can shift a mood or express what words cannot.
In high school, I took every opportunity to explore different artistic disciplines including choir, dance, photography and pottery. I credit much of the artistic experiences I had in my formative years to my parents and teachers who always encouraged me to try new things – regardless of my degree of skill. This firm foundation of art appreciation created in me a refuge of self-expression, reflection and creativity that I believe to be an essential piece of the balance I find in my adult life.
These experiences galvanized in me a firm belief that EVERY person is creative, regardless of skill, years of training or physical ability. Impacted deeply by the work of Brene’ Brown, I have come to believe that when an individual does not express themselves creatively (whether through painting, cooking, carpentry or rebuilding a car engine), a part of their spirit atrophies and their health as individuals is stunted. I believe that because we are created in the likeness of God, it is in our nature to create and that by doing so we are glorifying Him and fully experiencing what it means to be alive.
I am drawn to SAORI because of its philosophy that is grounded in the belief that every person has the power of creativity locked inside of them. SAORI is a free-style hand weaving method that celebrates the “beauty with lack of intention” that is uncovered when one challenges the norms and rules of traditional weaving and lets their heart guide them at the loom. Founded in Japan by Misao Jo over 40 years ago, SAORI began by accident. As Jo made “mistakes” in her own weaving she began to appreciate the individuality that was created when a warp pattern was disrupted, or a thread was missed in sequence. She urges her weavers to “consider the differences between machines and people” recognizing that machines can not practice what the individual can – personal creativity. Therefore – the goal in SAORI is to produce cloth that is guided by our instincts, pleasure and impulses, recognizing that this is the expression of the true self.
Yes, I do believe that EVERY person is creative, but not all (to their detriment) choose to express themselves creatively. Creative expression releases stress, helps us process deep, complicated feelings and unlocks beauty hidden deep inside of us that is key to others truly knowing us. It is my goal as an artist to inspire others through my weaving to challenge the norms and step in to their creativity. My goal as a leader is to guide others through this process of self-discovery that can help enhance their enjoyment of everyday life and art and to learn to confidently and boldly weave their true self.
“In SAORI, we do not weave only a cloth. We weave our true self.” – Misao Jo