A Strong Beginning
On May 5, 1955, five women drawn together by a common interest in weaving decided to form a guild to further proficiency in their craft. Sally Adams was elected President and Helen Woolman, Secretary-Treasurer. Other charter members were Mrs. W.C. Alson, Mrs. H.D. Dewar, and Mrs. W.J. Schnebly. They selected Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild as the name of their new organization, and advertised the first meeting in the newspaper. Thirty people attended the June 3rd meeting, and CHG was on its way!
The First Year
CHG members spent the first year researching weaving history, techniques, and fibers. Not content with their own efforts, CHG engaged Berta Frey to conduct the Guild's first workshop in June, 1956. Her emphasis on quality became an important aspect of all CHG activities and led to the next major milestone.
Growth And Incorporation
By 1977, CHG had grown and needed a more formal structure. A new set of by-laws was drafted and passed and, in May 1978, CHG was incorporated as a not-for-profit educational organization. The initial Board of Directors included Jean Hunnicutt, Margaret Mott, Barbara Brooks, Jean Stangler, Peggy Coker, Tracy Williamson, Lyn Sterling, Lynn Bolien, Nancy Kaye, and Karen Jenkins.
The Guild continued to prosper and, in 1998, CHG was chosen to host the biennial convention of the Handweavers Guild of America - Convergence 98. Choosing Rhythms and Hues as the theme, Guild members worked for five years to prepare for the arrival of fiber enthusiasts from around the world. The result was a week filled with workshops, studio classes, seminars, meetings, lectures, fashion shows, exhibits, tours, shopping, and visiting with fiber friends. With the support of guilds around the southeast, family, and friends, the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild made Convergence 98 an experience to remember for everyone who attended.
Membership in CHG has grown to its present size of over 150 members. Much of the Guild's strength and appeal comes from a diverse membership--professional weavers, those who weave primarily for pleasure and self-fulfillment, teachers, students, and beginners. In fact, anyone with an interest in weaving and textile arts is welcome to join CHG. The Guild is the perfect place to meet other fiber enthusiasts, learn new techniques, exchange creative ideas, and find inspiration.
CHG goals for the 2011-2012 Guild year are to:
- Offer opportunities for membership involvement which may include working with committees, participating in study groups, a focus on getting to know each other, and a chance for sales of yarn, equipment, or finished goods.
- Provide educational opportunities by offering mentoring, study groups, and mini-workshops, while continuing to bring in experts for programs and workshops along with our excellent system of classes covering fundamentals.
- Establish a public presence for CHG by improving our communications, building on the energy of the annual Open House, presenting exhibits, and being a presence at local events.
- Create a financial plan to combine with a plan for Guild growth, which will include a smart plan to gain more meeting space at an affordable rate.