Hospice Artisans take their act online all year long

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on December 30, 2020 with No Comments

These are samples of the craft projects of the Hospice Artisans, whose handiwork supports the mission of Hospice of the Calumet Area.

For nearly 15, the Hospice Artisans have developed their craftsmanship to raise funds for Hospice of the Calumet Area. They often sold their wares at public shows and boutiques.

Then COVID-19 came along, and the old way of doing business had to change. Group members are still creating items as fundraisers, but now they’re selling it online.

Working with hospice staff, the Artisans developed their own website, www.hospiceartisans.org, through which the public can view and shop for the holidays and all year long. The site opened Dec. 1.

The Hospice Artisans group was formed in 2006 with the sole purpose of raising and donating monies to Hospice of the Calumet Area. However, as project coordinator Lydia Dershewitz pointed out, “It is the manner in which we have chosen to accomplish this goal that makes us unique in the non-profit world.  Our artisans are all volunteers. Each individual has her/his own style but all share a passion and commitment to the hospice mission.”

These are samples of the craft projects of the Hospice Artisans, whose handiwork supports the mission of Hospice of the Calumet Area.

All items are handcrafted and individually made, thus no two are ever exactly alike. The artists are always moving forward and learning new techniques, Dershewitz explained

“We take classes, read trade journals, and when possible, visit museums and galleries for inspiration,” she said. “Many have collected materials from all over the world. While we have many artisans who specialize in a specific area, we all share ideas with each other and are so happy to pass along our skills.”

Coming from diverse backgrounds, Hospice Artisans include nurses, teachers, graphic designers, business and sales professionals, bankers, interior designers, librarians, an architect, a chemist, two master gardeners, social workers, and health care professionals. Some have been in the arts their entire careers; others came with no experience at all.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Hospice Artisans, Dershewitz said, is to watch the growth of individuals who had never had any experience in the work we do. “We have people who last sewed when they were children, people who learned to knit from their grandmothers, people who discovered a talent for sales that surprised them more than anyone else,” she noted.

Several of the group’s cards were featured in 1000 Greeting Cards, published in 2009.  In 2012 The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana recognized the Hospice Artisans in the category of team innovation.

As of 2020, the group has raised more than $650,000 for Hospice of the Calumet Area.

Artisans’ work includes greeting cards, pottery, wood products, over mitts, kitchenware, jewelry, children’s and pet supplies, scarves, project bags, and resin pieces.

 

 

Artisan cutline

These are samples of the craft projects of the Hospice Artisans, whose handiwork supports the mission of Hospice of the Calumet Area.

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