Craft Activities for the Visually Impaired

Pot throwing
Pot throwing (Image: pottery image by Avesun from Fotolia.com)

A lack of sight does not signify a lack of the capacity to feel, imagine or create. In fact, centers for the visually impaired use this knowledge to institute a curriculum that encourages creativity and sensory visualizations. Such sensory visualizations include the use of touch. Many visually impaired adults and children use their hands to mold pots and do woodworking. They may also paint, draw or do anything that a sighted person can do.

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Determining the Best Activity

Almost everyone prefers one craft or genre of art to another. Whether you are visually impaired and want to find an exciting craft or are looking to help someone else determine what he would like to make, learning new techniques is always helpful. A few of the most enjoyable and personally fulfilling crafts include making ceramics, weaving and sculpting. These forms of art are particularly enjoyable as one's hands can do all the "seeing."

Sculpting
Sculpting (Image: hands image by zopa from Fotolia.com)

Starting the Project

If you decided sculpting, ceramics or weaving are the projects you are interested in doing, make sure you have all of the materials. If you prefer clay, this is one of the simplest ways to sculpt. You can make anything you want. If you get the right kind of clay (you can find this kind at any craft store), you can bake it and turn it into a sculpture.

Weaving
Weaving (Image: Weaving baskets image by Robert Young from Fotolia.com)

Benefits of the Project

These crafts are particularly beneficial as they include complete sensory involvement and intuition. You do not have to worry about the result being perfect, as the project is more about the process of feeling the clay or cloth, for instance. These crafts are fun and worthwhile because they encourage you to use all of your faculties. You can literally get your hands dirty, depending on the project.

Making Clay Masks and Jewelry

For a specific clay project that is fun and fulfilling, try molding your material into any shape that you want, especially if you are more into the process than the product. If you feel invested in a particular outcome, you can always put newspaper on your face or a friend's face. Over the newspaper, you can attach and mold the clay according to your friend's facial features. This is a great way to make expressive masks.

You can also add buttons for earrings or even make jewelry for your masks. You do not have to "see" to make jewelry; in fact, it is fun to experiment with different sizes and shapes of beads based on tactile sensations alone. All you need is string and beads and the patience to fit each bead onto the string. You can even make the beads by wrapping short pieces of paper tightly around a pencil. Next, slide the paper beads off of the pencil. When you are done, the paper becomes like a hollow bead that is ready to be made into jewelry.

Learning to Weave

If you are interested in weaving, a way to make the experience particularly satisfying for the visually impaired includes weaving in various objects of different textures, like leaves or wicker. You may want to apply liquid fabric to leaves so that they will last longer than they normally would. The added textures will make the project truly unique and distinct from traditional types of weaving.

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