Our artisan program currently provides social opportunity, a source of income, motor and cognitive skill enhancement, and a deep sense of accomplishment for 35 blind, visually impaired, and/or senior artisans.

 

Multiple, recent medical studies have shown that social isolation is a physical and mental health risk for aging populations and adults with disabilities. The Census Bureau estimates that 15% of Hartford County residents are over the age of 60. Of those, 30% live alone. As large generations continue to age, this trend is slated to increase. The rate of living alone increases with age, especially among women.

 

Some of our artisans have been excluded from the workforce, and isolated due to lifelong disability, changes in health, or age. This has limited their earning potential, and opportunities for creativity, socialization, and accomplishment. Surveys have shown that our artisans value the social and creative aspects of the program equally. 

 

Weaving is a multi-step craft that requires focus and precise movements, and rewards weavers with an accomplishment they can feel, and share with others. There are endless weave structures, color, and fiber combinations, so artisans are gently challenged to learn something new each day.

The Artisan Weaving Program

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

become an artisan

If you are legally blind, or 55+ years old, you meet the requirements to be a weaving Artisan. No experience with weaving is necessary. For $5 dues per month, Artisans are provided a loom to use, all the materials needed for weaving, and ongoing one-on-one instruction from our skilled teacher, studio manager and experienced volunteer weavers. Artisans set their own hours and days, but are expected to spend 1 or 2 days at the Center every week. 

After just a few months, most new artisans are able to weave beautiful handwoven items, including our signature scarves. They become part of a creative and accepting community. The Artisan program is largely driven by individual donations. Your contribution will support our weavers and help us reach more people. Donations of any amount help us continue to use an ancient craft for modern good. There are many ways to donate. Click here to learn how. 

support the Artisan program

Weaving engages multiple senses to create a tangible product. When you learn to weave, you're learning a new language, and exploring a new way to express your creativity.
You feel the shed open when you press the treadles down.
You hear thread roll off the bobbin as you pass the shuttle through the open shed.
 
You hear and feel the shed close when you release the treadles.
 
You hear and feel the beater as you pull it forward, and it compacts individual threads into gorgeous fabric.
 
When you weave, you create your own, consistent rhythm, and produce something you can hold, and share with others.

Why Weaving?