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Looms in the living room

November 10, 2011

by Ani Klose

Rhonda Smith is wearing one of her beautiful hand-dyed and handwoven jackets. – Photo courtesy Celebration of Craftswomen
Rhonda Smith fell in love with weaving after taking a class at Fort Mason over 30 years ago and together with a friend started the company, ORIHIME. Her Japanese business partner suggested the name: Orihime means weaver princess in Japanese. Even though Rhonda now runs the business alone, the name stuck.

To create her unique scarves and jackets, Rhonda first dyes her own yarn downstairs in the garage and then weaves the fabric on a loom in her living room – using only cotton, silk or rayon – to be assembled into the final clothing item.

A Bay View resident for 44 years, Rhonda has been participating at the Women’s Building Annual Celebration of Craftswomen for almost three decades. With over 160 participants, the Celebration of Craftswomen remains San Francisco’s biggest holiday fine crafts retail fair and the largest event exclusively celebrating the craft of women in America.

This year the show takes place with new dates and at a new venue: Nov. 11 to 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Festival Pavilion in San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. If you go, make sure to stop by Rhonda’s booth!

Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, students and disabled, and free for children ages 12 and under. A two-day pass good on any of the three days is $12 and can be purchased on-line. The celebration is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call (650) 615-6838 or visit


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