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Guild History

Florence Grice, a ceramic craft person from Corry, PA. was living in Philadelphia while her husband was in the military. She joined the newly formed Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and attended the meetings and craft shows. When her husband was discharged from the Army, they returned to Corry, PA.

Friends of Florence Grice, Bonnie Gordon, a weaver, and Jessie Wittleseg a Ceramicist and president of the elite group “21 Potters” (a closed organization of women who were Ceramicists) from Erie, PA., knew Florence was in the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and asked her to start a Craftsmen Guild in Erie and to join with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.

Florence had a meeting on March 29, 1949 to form a chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. This meeting was held in Edinboro, PA. The membership was open to all persons who have a craft as a hobby or source of income. Area persons interested in joining this guild were invited to attend.

The formation of the Erie Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen began in April of 1949, and was the 8th chapter to form since the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen was begun in Philadelphia in 1944. In the first year of the Charter, more than 200 persons joined the Guild. In March of 1950, all of the Edinboro members of the Erie Chapter split to become the 10th Chapter to be formed.

In 1973, the Erie members voted to leave the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and become the Erie Guild of Craftsmen. Since that time the Erie Guild of Craftsmen has seen more than four thousand members, doing crafts from sewing, beading, woodcarving, painting, photography, crocheting, doll making, and many others. We meet each month, hold a fall craft show each year, and donate to community charities.