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The Joy & Power of Guilds

An article from on Nov. 30, 2012, Why Join an Art or Craft Group? caught my eye.

The following excepts from that article are used with the permission of author Li Hertzi.

"We are all adults here, we don't have time to join an arts and crafts group, and further, why would we? We are artists! We work alone! Those are the exact reasons to join one of your local arts or crafts groups.

"You may be the kind of artsy person who is always working, always making something, sketching, doing whatever it is that inspires you, and if you can do that, wonderful! But if you are like many Ohio artists you need to be nudged to make time for your art. The support of the members of a group often inspires one to stop and take the time to do your craft.

"When you join an art/craft group, you will most likely meet people who do what you do (this is comforting and fun) and those who do things you couldn't even have imagined until you met them! These are the people who will push your boundaries and expand your art horizon.

"Educational and/or entertaining programs are a big part of most art/craft groups. ..."

"There is nothing like being with people who know and love you and your work, and friends you make at an art/craft group could be just the therapy you need!"

Often crocheters, or any type craftsperson for that matter, hesitate when it comes to taking out the wallet to pay for membership in a craft organization. The article at reminded me of an article I wrote in August 1995 for the newsletter of the Crochet Guild of America, Chain Link. Here are some excerpts from that article:

"From time to time I get a phone call or receive letters from crocheters trying to decide what the benefits of membership in CGOA are, and if it is worth the investment of $35. Today the dues still remain at $35. Some member benefits are very tangible, like the newsletter and the annual conference; others are more difficult to grab onto, like networking with others to share our enthusiasm about crochet."

Here are some opinions from members of CGOA:

"I am delighted to tell you that I am paying my membership dues with part of the proceeds from selling my first crochet design. I probably wouldn't have attempted it without the encouragement for new designers printed in the first post-conference newsletter." Linda T., North Attleboro, Mass.

"Please accept my membership dues. We started a crochet club here in Craig, Colo., and have about a dozen members. We are making a special afghan for our county fair as well as Caps for Kids. Mostly, we just learn from each other and teach anyone who wants to learn to crochet." Beverly W., Craig, Colo.

"There is that adage that goes, 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to use a hook and you feed him for a lifetime.' I would change it to, 'Give a woman a sweater and you warm her until it wears out; teach a woman to use a hook and she will warm her children's children.' My grandmother who taught me to crochet passed away 27 years ago, but the afghans she made are warming her great-grandchildren. Now, as my son prepares to marry next month, I expect they will comfort yet another generation." Charleen H., Sellersville, Pa.

You be the judge as to whether it is worth it to take out your wallet and join CGOA, YOUR crochet organization.