Grantee Spotlight: The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center


Every month the Arts Council spotlights a grantee to showcase the amazing impact your United Arts Campaign contributions have on the community and beyond. This month’s spotlight is on the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center. Read our previous grantee spotlights

I’m going to say something that my cat has been trying to tell me for years: yarn is wonderful. Judging from their beautiful array of colored yarn spools and finished woven pieces, I’m willing to bet that The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center agrees with me.

A recent recipient of our Artscape Grant, The Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is presently working on a project that includes hand-dyed warps (a set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom.) to create woven pieces. Each year, Executive Director, Fran Curan aims to introduce a new skill or technique to their weavers. This year’s project will culminate in an exhibition of the Artisan’s work on the third floor of the Hartford Public Library, which will run May―August.

A rainbow of colored yarns.
A rainbow of colored yarns.

As you enter through the bright yellow front door of the Weaving Center, you’ll see a hallway adorned with square quilts made from scrap fabric. Just off the hallway lies the “Finishing Room”, where pieces receive their final touches before they are ready for purchase in the store (which is open Monday-Thursdays from 11-3 p.m.). Adjacent to the Finishing Room is one of three spaces filled with large wooden looms adorned with the names of the respective Artisans who utilize them. The smaller classroom, just down the hallway is where budding students learn the tools and techniques to become a skilled Artisan.  Two looms hooked up to laptop computers―which allow more intricate patterns to be woven can be found in the second large work space a midst the sea of traditional looms.

The mission of the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center is to promote and teach the craft of hand weaving 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.

Items for sale in the store.
Items for sale in the store.

Marketing & Communications Manager, Diane Taha, and I had a blast ogling over pieces in their store, marveling at the demonstrated skills of the Artisans and feeling the joy of the shared experience at this treasure here in Hartford. Whether you’re a seasoned weaver or have no idea what a “weft” is, the staff and friendly volunteers at the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center are there to ensure you have a splendid time.

Loom's galore.
Looms galore.