The first account of a handweavers “club” was in a newspaper report written in 1941. Little was documented of this early club and it was not until 1953 that a notice appeared announcing that a meeting was to be held at the YWCA with the purpose of formally organizing a “Handweavers’ Guild” in Tulsa. Twenty-five women were present at this meeting held on May 1, 1953. On June 5, 1953, the “Eastern Oklahoma Weavers Guild” became a formal organization and Mrs. N.J. Gubser was chosen as chairperson of the Guild.
The Guild has gone through several name changes over the years however, it is not documented what initiated the changes. In 1954, the name was changed to the “Magic Empire Weavers’ Guild” and in 1958 it was changed to the “Tulsa Hand Weavers”.
Daytime meetings were held the first Friday of the month at a member’s home with at least eight meetings annually. Dues for sustaining members were $4 per year, active member dues were $3 and associate members were $2 per year.
In 1980, a branch of the guild was established that met the first Wednesday evening of each month at the request of several working women who could not attend daytime meetings but wished to be a part of the guild. Nine women joined the evening group bringing the total membership of the Tulsa Hand Weavers to 55.
The Guild issued a publication called “Sunsett Notes” from September 1980 to March 1981. Subject matter consisted of information about guild programs and activities, biographical news about people active in the field of weaving, and articles submitted by members regarding sometime of special interest to them. In 1982, the guild newsletter was established which is still published today.
The Tulsa Handweavers Guild has been a very active guild both in the education of weaving and in community involvement since it’s establishment. The first workshop was held in June 1953 and was attended by weavers from Oklahoma and Kansas. The guild continues its educational outreach by conducting educational programs at guild meetings and by sponsoring workshops and study groups. For a current listing of workshops, programs and other related events please see the “Events” page of this website.
The Guild is fortunate to have a rich weaving history and exciting future. Many of our members are published authors, recognized teachers, and highly respected members of the weaving community. The Guild meets on the first Saturday of the month from 10:15 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. from August through June at the Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 East 93rd Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Current membership is 56 with members from all across the United States.