Our Guild

The Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen, a chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, was organized in 1945 and is the largest chapter in the state organization. Membership is open to anyone wishing to join.

Our purposes are:

  • To promote and protect the interests of the craftsman.
  • To encourage the study and practice of handcrafts.
  • To uphold the best of traditional and contemporary crafts.
  • To maintain standards of excellence in design and technique.

A high level of quality is maintained by having a jurying process which must be passed before exhibiting work in Guild sponsored events. Instead of a barrier, this critique system should be viewed as an educational tool to help members attain a high level of quality. Many members are nationally recognized artisans in their field and can be an invaluable source of information and encouragement.

Monthly Meetings and Programs

Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen meetings are open to the public and are held the first Tuesday of each month at the GoggleWorks at 7 PM. We do not meet in July, when many of our members are busy demonstrating and selling their work at the Kutztown Folk Festival. The months of June and December are our social events and often are held offsite and at an earlier time. We try to visit a local artist studio or other point of interest once a year, so please check the schedule below to see if there is a location and/or time change. A program is given at the beginning of each meeting before the business part of the meeting begins. The programs range from recently juried members presenting their craft including techniques they use, to new business practices such as taking credit cards on your smart phone, to visiting a local artist studio. These programs are designed to educate, to motivate and to spark ideas and conversations. All programs give time for questions, one on one discussion, and to more closely examine the visuals the presenter brought with them.

Schedule of Upcoming Meetings and Programs:

  • June 6th at 6:00 PM  Picnic at Matt’s house, 504 Covered Bridge Road, Oley, PA 19547 —  Please sign up 
  • July – No meeting
  • August 2nd Field Trip to Jeff Kahn’s Kinetic Sculpture studio at 308 Blue Rocks Road, Lenhartsville PA 19534. His website is http://www.jeffkahnsculpture.com

We support a broad range of activities. Monthly meetings are held with a program of special interest and a business meeting. Programs are designed to inform and help the craftsmen, using people from within and outside the Guild. Membership includes both the chapter and state level, and a newsletter about activities and items of interest to members is sent periodically. Currently we produce two festivals a year, the Spring Festival and Holiday Festival, both at the Kutztown University Fieldhouse in Kutztown PA. We produce the award winning monthly TV show “Your Berks Craftsmen” on BCTV. We jury the annual Stanley Seltz Student Awards with monetary awards for Berks County high school seniors, and disburse annual mini grants to our members for education use. We are also a social group, with a summer picnic and holiday dinner.

All this is accomplished by volunteers who believe in our aims. If you are interested in being a part of this dynamic group, please join.

For more information, contact us.

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Board of Directors

Board Members:
President, Barry Bennecoff
Vice President, Cleon Garl,Sr.
Secretary, Kay Bennecoff
Co-Treasurer, Carol Haile
Co-Treasurer, Jodi Bryza-Stevenson
Newsletter, Sandra Jones

Committee Chairs:
Standards, Louise Mehaffey
Shows, Judy & Terry Boyer
Media, Kay Bennecoff
Education, Carol Haile
Program, Matt Vardjan
Website, Bill Jones
Sunshine Girl, Judy Boyer
Membership, Mike Brown