August 10, 2022 at 7:00 PM

History of weaving in Hartland MI” with Nadine Cloutier

 

How did the tiny settlement in Hartland, MI become the third largest weaving producing community in the country during the 1930-40s?   Well we need look no further than local philanthropist John Robert Crouse Sr.  The idea, the Hartland Area Project, was a social experiment, which attempted to transfer ideals worked through Crouse’s industrial experiences to rural life. When he retired from business, he returned to his boyhood home of Hartland where he would implement a unique social experiment called the Hartland Area Project in 1931.

 

Of all the facets of the Project, the one that gave the most pleasure to many individuals inside and outside the community was the craft industry known as Cromaine Crafts in 1933.

 

Osma (Palmer) Couch was hired by the director of the Project in mid-1933 to come to Hartland from Suffern, New York, where she had established herself as a leading figure in weaving through her writing. She would carry out, with other individuals, the aims of the arts and crafts facet of the Project to “Create Things Useful and Beautiful.”  On February 11, 1934, Cromaine Crafts opened.

 

You will learn about Milo Gallinger a furniture and loom maker who Osma later marries. Find out about the many classes offered through Cromaine Crafts, Martina Lindahl, a spinner and weaver was hired to help with the growing business, additional teachers brought in from Berea, Kentucky, the first National Weaving Institute held at Waldenwoods on June 5-19, 1938 and the birthplace of the Michigan League of Handweavers in July 1959 and more.

 

 

 

Brief Bio:  Nadine Cloutier has been a fiber artist since high school where she was introduced to weaving on a 4-harness floor loom. Shortly after moving to Brighton MI in 1987 she began working for Hartland Consolidated School as the Community Education Enrichment Coordinator and later as Editor of the local paper Community Life.

 

It was through work that she discovered the rich history of the Hartland Area. She joined the Hartland Area Historical Society and the Black Sheep Weavers Fiber Guild in 1991. As a volunteer she became President of the HAHS and local historian for both organizations. Her research led her to coordinate and edit the publication of a comprehensive history book titled “Hartland: Weaving the Past with the Present.”

 

Now retired she enjoys weaving, rug hooking, doll making and traveling with her husband.

 

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