The mission of the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is to promote and teach the craft of handweaving in a supportive and creative community. The Center encourages people with low or no vision and those 55 and older to develop their skills and interest in weaving original and beautiful handwoven items.
The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is an incorporated rebirth of the former Hartford Artisans Center, which was located at Connecticut Institute for the Blind at Oak Hill. The program was established in 1995 to meet the economic and social needs of people with disabilities, primarily blindness, and those who are elderly.
Elderly and visually-impaired people come to the Weaving Center to learn the craft of handweaving. What they find when they get here is far more. First, they gain self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment from mastering the complex craft of weaving. Second, they escape the isolation common to people in their circumstances; they become valuable members of a community of artisans where they are supported artistically and spiritually. Third, they produce beautiful handwoven scarves, throws, wall hangings, and other items that are sold to the general public. To see the latest creations, check out our public facebook page.
We have succeeded because of the early generosity of many – from our landlord, from our legal and financial advisors, and from our fellow weavers and friends who reached into their pockets to donate what they could and give us seed money to start operations. This kind generosity has continued as our program has prospered and grown. Your support is still a vital part of our program. A donation of $25 buys a cone of fiber. A donation of $50 will pay for 10 rides to the Center for one of our blind artisans. A donation of $100 helps us repair and maintain our many looms. Any amount will help.
If you are legally blind or 55+ years old, you meet the requirements to be a weaving Artisan. No experience with weaving is necessary. The cost is $5 per month, and you can set your own hours and days. Anyone can become a volunteer at the Weaving Center. You can volunteer for any length of time - from one day a month to many times a week. Weaving and sewing skills are helpful but not required. Our volunteers are a genial group of folks who believe in our mission statement and find real satisfaction in helping our blind and elderly weavers produce their beautiful wares. Volunteers wind warps, thread looms, troubleshoot during the weaving process, and assist the artisans in any way they can. Volunteers also do finishing work, sew, sell in our store, and help with fundraising.
The beautiful hand-woven products pictured on this website were made by our weavers. They are only a sample of the work that is being produced at The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center and available for sale Mondays through Thursdays from 11-4 pm or by appointment.