Weaving History with Community: One Example of a REGI Supported Creative Project

Antonia Schachter | March 3, 2020

Weaving History with Community is an innovative project idea by Connecticut Artist Susan Jackson. Jackson was awaiting the right opportunity to present it and found an opportunity in the Connecticut Office of the Arts’ Regional Initiative Grant Program (REGI).

Jackson notes, “During my weaving education, I have been amazed at how it touches upon so many aspects of life, diverse cultures, and has such a rich history.”

The complex history of weaving spans from the CT NipmunkHammonasset, or Pequot Tribes weaving for basketry and fishing nets, to the Jacquard loom – the precursor to the computer, to modern times and the current use of weaving as both mechanized and handmade art form.

Jackson is enthusiastic about sharing the impact of weaving on the past and its role in today’s world while teaching the techniques and artistic expression that is an integral part of the craft.  

“I believe educating registrants on the influence weaving has had on their own cultures and histories in combination with teaching them the craft will inspire them to continue to weave by using the looms donated as part of this project.  My hope is this continued use will spur and encourage deeper thinking and excitement about the art and craft of weaving both individually and in our community.”  

The workshop will engage participants from our CT communities with the history of weaving as a functional practice and as an art form. Each class will combine a history lesson woven into the practical use of a loom.

There is no limit on who can participate and enjoy this class. Currently, weaving is a ‘hot’ genre with more and more fiber arts shows, exhibits, and publications appearing locally, nationally, and internationally. 

“I would like to teach new students as well as those returning to the craft with renewed interest, engaging all with this fascinating history and sharing the techniques of the craft.” 

The looms provided will be rigid heddle looms.

Jackson has been teaching visual art and an active and enthusiastic supporter of the arts and community for over 25 years. She concentrates on the art of weaving for her artistic expression.