Weavers Guild of Rhode Island Minutes

Held at Claire Wanabo’s Farm in Bristol, RI

June 1, 2019

Call to order

Mary Brunell called the meeting to order at 10:36 am.  Meeting started with a welcome to visitors:  Elizabeth Springett

Executive Committee members present:

President:  Mary Brunell

Vice President: Lynn Morriseau

Treasurer: Gretchen White

Secretary: Elizabeth Hill

Past President:  Janet Cooper 



Mary Brunell thanked Claire and Harry Wanabo for hosting our annual meeting and luncheon at their beautiful farm in Bristol, RI. It was a great day for weather and watching Claire’s Shetland Sheep graze was fun!

Mary Brunell gave gifts of a mug with the new WGRI logo on it to members of the Executive Board and Committee Chairs.  She said she was very grateful for their work this past year.

Mary Brunell announced a farewell to Norie Shirako, returning to Japan.  Mary gave her a WGRI logo mug as a remembrance and had a cake made with “Genki de” written on it, which means “All the Best.”

Gift from the guild:  Mary received a beautiful sleying hook from the guild.  She thanked the guild for such a lovely gift.

Mary Brunell gave a report on the accomplishments for the past year.

Accomplishments 2018-2019

Structural Issues to promote consistency for the guild

·      Bylaws reviewed and revised, voted on changes, past and present placed on website 

·      Website established role responsibilities and procedures for executive board, committees, 

·      Newsletters from 1947 to present on Google Drive and linked to website 

·      Secured minutes from 1947 to present to be scanned, placed on Google Drive and linked to website

·      Definition for Honorary Members written and process for selection

·      Set up Facebook Page for WGRI

·      Policy written for use of the WGRI Table Loom

·      New Logo was completed for use for printing and digital uses.


·      14 New Members this past year

·      Return to written Yearbook, copies to members

Community Service

·      Established relationship with Wickford Middle School and Alicia Skaggs

·      Volunteers from the guild held two classes in November and December with middle school art classes on table looms, rigid heddle loom, and inkle looms.


·      Amazon Smile and Halcyon Rewards Program set up to add revenue to the general fund

·      Budget was established for the year

·      Donations for Kormos Award and Smayda award funds

·      Donations for the General Fund (Anonymous)

·      Changed travel reimbursement for non-members

·      Sale of Dorrie Burton’s Weavings


·      Conducted 7 programs, March cancelled due to weather

·      First of Mini Workshops Approach

·      5 Programs by guild members

·      First Holiday Yankee Swap with Sally Rianhard

·      Lynn has put together very good programs for us for the next year

WGRI Challenges

·      Yardage challenge

·      1960’s/Beatles Challenge

Minutes from the May Meeting

Minutes from the May meeting were accepted by the membership with no corrections.  

Treasurer Report

Gretchen White reported for June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019.

General Fund:  $4007.18

Encumbered Fund:  $6226.97

Total Incoming Funds:  $4856.92 

·      Dues $1915.00

·      Donations $1506.00

·      Amazon Smile $6.19

·      Halcyon Rebate $200.10

·      Bertha Gray Hayes Royalties $410.63

·      Bertha Gray Hayes Book Sales $510.00

·      Sale Items $309.00

Total Outgoing Funds:  $953.30

·      Honoraria $877.52

·      RI Non-Profit Filing $40.00

·      Miscellaneous  $35.00

Programs Report:  Several speakers have been contacted for next year.  Finalization will take place this summer.

Committee Reports

Educational Grants:  No report.

Weavers Challenge 2018-2019: Members showed their handwoven designs for the theme of 1960’s and the Beatles.  They will be on the guild table at NEWS.  There were scarves, guitar straps, and everyone’s favorite Sally Rianhard’s record with handwoven “Beatles” on it!

Newsletter:  Mary Brunell and Janet Cooper are working on a summer edition.

Yardage Challenge: Gretchen White received two submissions for the challenge.  Norma Smayda had a woven lace, twill, and basket weave that she will also submit to NEWS. She was awarded first prize for Professional Class.

Astrid Drew received first prize for Experienced Amateur Class for her yardage.

Website:No report.

Community Outreach:  No report.

NEWS:  NEWS will be held July 11-14 at Smith College. We have 17 members participating this year, the most we have ever had participate.  Ginny Walsh collected submissions for the shows.  Janet Cooper collected submissions for the guild table to be given to Judy Schafer.  Gretchen White is working with faculty for the submissions to the faculty show. Ginny Walsh is signing members up to volunteer to sit during exhibits.  

Much work has gone into the NEWS preparation and now set-up.  We offered many thanks to Ginny Walsh and Judy Schafer as our NEWS representatives and all who will participate on behalf of our guild.

Publicity:  No report.

Old Business


New Business

Bylaws Change Recommended:

An email was sent with this information one month before the meeting.


Article VI:  Meetings

a.   Regular meetings of the membership shall be held monthly, excepting in the summer.

Revised for Vote:

a.    Regular meetings of the membership shall be held monthly, excepting January and in the summer.

 David Westcott made a motion to approve the bylaws change.  Manon Pelletier seconded the motion.  The bylaws change was approved by the members as written.

Dorrie Burton:  There were a number of Dorrie Burton’s weavings for sale on the side table with donations going to the WGRI General Fund.  Norma Smayda brought them to the meeting to display and sell for the guild.

New Honorary Members:  Pam Rathmell, started our website years ago and worked diligently to keep it updated. When she moved to Florida, she worked with Mary Brunell and Janet Cooper to transition information to the new website. The WGRI honors her work for the guild and makes her an Honorary Member.  Katie Schelleng is a past president of WGRI and the Chair of the 50thAnniversary Celebration.  She is a co-author of the book, Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes.  The WGRI honors her work for the guild and makes her an Honorary Member.  Congratulations to Pam and Katie! 

Norma Smayda Guild Leadership Award:  Manon Pelletier received this award.

Award Criteria:  Displays leadership in WGRI activities as an elected official, member of committees, and at meetings.  As a leader and teacher works with members to create an environment of interest, curiosity, and sharing weaving knowledge.  Recognized beyond the WGRI as a regional or national leader and participant.  Recognized as an expert weaver through juried exhibits in the region and nationally.  

From the nominees letters:

 Manon Pelletier is nominated for the Norma Smayda Guild Leadership Award for her work and leadership at WGRI meetings, as Education Grants Chair, and her work with other weavers in sewing with handwoven fabric.  She is an excellent weaver and Master Seamstress.

Manon teaches at the WGRI meetings on a regular basis.  Her work has included “Weaving Fabric for Garments: Getting Started (didactic and workshop)” and “Catalognes:  Coverlets of Quebec.”  She is an outstanding teacher with her handouts, slides, and presentation style. Manon brings many examples of her work to demonstrate to members how to achieve their own goals with handwoven fabric.

Manon won the 2017 NEWS Fashion awards for Best of Show: Manon Pelletier, “Fall Fest” and First Place for Tops & Tunics, “Fall Fest.”

Manon won second prize Fashion Show for “Bands of Northern Lights” with Inge Dam at the 2018 Convergence in Reno, Nevada for a jacket designed and constructed by Manon.

Manon won first prize Fashion Show, Tops & Tunics at NEWS 2015 for “Indian Spice” with Norma Smayda.  The tunic was designed and constructed by Manon.

Manon won first prize Yardage at NEWS 2005 for “Window to Summer,” “Meticulous Weaving” from the WGB, and “Monochrome Weaving” from the Nashoba Valley Weavers (In Memory of Lena Lord).

Mary Brunell and Norma Smayda acknowledged this award to Manon with a check from the Norma Smayda Awards Fund.

Antonia Kormos Weaving Award:  Sally Rianhard received this award.

Award Criteria:  Displays in-depth knowledge and technique in dyeing and the use of color in weaving.  Recognized as an expert in weaving and dyeing through juried exhibits in the region and nationally.  Shares expert knowledge in weaving, dyeing, and color with members of the WGRI and others in the weaving community.

From the nominees letters:

Sally has cultivated an in-depth knowledge of weaving, color, and dyeing through continuous and exacting independent study; with Norma Smayda at the Saunderstown Weaving School; and with Jan Doyle at the Carolina Fiber and Fiction Center Mastery of Weaving Program, and was granted a certificate in June 2013.  Sally expanded her knowledge and skill through courses at the Marshfield School in Vermont.  

In 2017, Sally did extensive research in to ancient Japanese garments. She created and exhibited at NEWS 2017, “Yamato.”  Sally constructed Yamato, a three-foot-tall boy doll, and wove his traditional clothing, from undergarments to outer jacket. 

Sally has exhibited her work at NEWS.  In 2011, Sally won the First Place in the NEWS Gallery Show Rug Category for her “H is for Henry” rug.  That year she also won Second Place in the NEWS Category Wall Hangings for “Marshfield in Mud Season.”  In 2013, Sally was awarded First Place in the 3-D Objects Category for her doll, “Penelope the Weaver.”

As a member of both the Rhode Island and Connecticut guilds, Sally has generously shared her knowledge and skill with guild members and others in the weaving community.

Mary Brunell acknowledged this award to Sally with a check from the Antonia Kormos Awards Fund.  Tony Kormos will be notified of the award in her honor this afternoon.

Nominations and Vote:  The slate of officers, for nomination was sent by email a month ago.  Sally Rianhard announced the slate for vote:  

President:  Mary Brunell

Vice President:  Janet Cooper

Secretary:  Liz Hill

Treasurer:  Gretchen White

Dave Westcottmade a motion to approve the slate of nominations for the WGRI Executive Board.  Janet Cooper seconded the motion.  The members unanimously approved the slate of nominations.

Dues:   Dues, $35.00, for the 2109-2020 year are payable to WGRI.  Gretchen White will take payments.

Raffle:  Sally Rianhard conducted a gift raffle for members and handed out beautiful handwoven bags with a Farkle Game inside.  Sally sewed the bags from the remaining fabric woven for the NEWS sample this year by several members of the guild on Linda Boden’s loom.

A motion was made, seconded, and passed to adjourn the business meeting at 12:30 pm.

.Next Meeting:  September 7, 2019 at 9:30am at North Kingstown Library

Book Reports: Books that Every Weaver Should Know

Weavers are fortunate to have an extensive literature of books on weaving techniques and woven cloth. “How-to” having books and illustrated exhibition catalogs that feature woven textiles are well-known month weavers. Less well known are the numerous readable and informative books on history, anthropology, and psychology that address the “what, why, and how” of both textiles in particular and craft in general. This talk will feature a discussion of three books that look at textiles and craft, and that ask questions such as “What is this object? Why was it made? Who made it? How was it used?

Scott Norrisis a weaver who specializes in tablecloths, bath towels, and other utilitarian household items, woven in hand-dyed linen. He is also a writer, with essays and reviews published in magazines and journals such as American Craft, Ceramic Monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception, andUnder the Sun. Visit his website at www.elamswidow.com.