Early on, the Gallatin Valley Weaver’s gathered to bring together in mutual cooperation all handweavers in the Gallatin Valley that they may develop a knowledge and appreciation on the techniques of handweaving for creative work.
The Bozeman Weaver’s Guild was formally organized in 1968 with Margaret Post as the first president. Margaret and Lucille Culp recruited the first members of the guild from students who were attending classes at the Hillcrest Retirement Center. The Guild formed a constitution and by-laws in its early years but has since become a more informal group with workshops and meeting programs.
In 1979 Karin Utzinger launched the newsletter, replacing the early phone tree means of keeping members informed. The Back Beam is now a monthly online newsletter with Joyce Shepard as Editor.
A library of textile books and periodicals that had been collected over the years, maintained and organized by Lucille Thompson and Vicki Scharen among others found a recent home when Barbara French offered space in the store, The Yarn Shop. The complete library list was compiled by Justine Gilchrist and is available online for members at the Bozeman Weaver’s Guild Yahoo Group as well as at the shop. Kay Hathorn is the current librarian and assumed responsibility in 2010.
BWG as an organization belongs to Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners and the Association of Northwest Weavers Guilds. BWG members have served on the executive boards of both groups.
The group has had an annual fall Show and Sale, study groups, sponsored fiber related workshops, and hosted regional and state weaving/spinning meetings. Its members have taught classes locally and for conferences, have sold their creations at local fairs and have demonstrated textile techniques in many venues from schools to museums to fairs. Members participate in guild challenges, Sheep to Shawl, weaving exchanges such as the coverlet project, and provide weaving for Guild booths at conventions.
As of 2010, six of its members had been honored as “Living Treasures” by MAWS: Margaret Post, Katherine Bradbury, Barbara McMullen, Carol Roehm, Karin Utzinger and Mary Melander.