We honor members of the weaving and spinning communities who are no longer with us. We thank their families and friends for making donations to reach out to other fiber enthusiasts.
Pat Larsen - 1927 - 2018
Pat loved to work with textiles, and was an avid weaver, spinner, and knitter. She was a long-time member of the Bozeman Weavers and Spinners Guild. She created beautiful quilts to commemorate the weddings of her grandchildren and the births of her great-grandchildren.
She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Home Economics and moved to Bozeman in 1968. Pat is fondly remembered by those she taught to weave and MAWS members who took weaving workshops from her.
Barb McMullen - 1928 - 2018
We in the Bozeman Weavers Guild have lost a beloved friend in the passing of Barb McMullen. We will hold her close in our memories, and cherish the many wonderful times spent together.
Barb was a member of the Bozeman Weavers Guild since the 1970’s. She took weaving classes through MSU and found that a new passion was born. One story she told which illustrates this is about a day in which Barb sat down to her weaving one morning, and, completely lost in the fascination of her project, was unaware of the passage of time until her husband Gordon walked in the door at the end of the day and found her at the loom, still in her pajamas! Barb loved to explore all aspects of weaving and always loved to try new things. An astonishing variety of creations filled her home, and included rugs, towels, pillows and beautiful garments that she created in many a weaving/sewing collaboration with her daughter, Cathy.
Barb’s generosity was extraordinary. She gave much time and energy to the guild, including a stint as guild president. In addition, she hosted a weekly gathering of fiber friends, which she called Threadbenders, in her home. New folks were always warmly welcomed. She provided tea, coffee and treats as well as encouragement of the sharing of weaving, spinning and knitting knowledge, advice, and the latest books and magazines. No one left Threadbenders with a problem unsolved or a question unanswered. She also freely gave and loaned equipment, supplies, fibers, and words of encouragement to help friends and fellow weavers. Kathy O’Hern remembers when she first met Barb who was visiting a weaving class taught by Susan Lohmuller. Kathy says Barb told her “I’ve been weaving all my life and your selvages look better than mine ever have!” Kathy continues: “That was untrue of course, but Barb was self-deprecating about her lovely work, putting hers down while boosting other’s confidence.” Joan Mauck recalls Barb’s wonderful personality: “always friendly, with a twinkle in her eye, and her sharp sense of humor! She was my Rock Star…and was enjoyable to be with, even to the end.”
Barb McMullen was a treasured member of our fiber community not only in Bozeman, but throughout Montana. In 2006 she was named a MAWS Living Treasure, an award given by the Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners to a fiber artist who “has demonstrated excellence in craftsmanship, provided leadership, …has been a source of inspiration and encouragement, … and has contributed to the betterment and development of the fiber arts at the local, state, regional or national level.” Barb did indeed embody all of these traits. She was also frank, honest and funny. Anita Krueger remembers an admonition she used to hear from Barb: “Go to as many workshops as you can and you will find out what you DON’T like to weave!” Barb was adventurous in her weaving and game to try anything, at least once. She was a remarkably well-rounded weaver, fascinated by color and fibers, as well as weave structure. She also loved to spin, dye, and knit, and surrounded herself with all manner of fiber friends.
As Anita says, Barb “was a friend, a weaving mentor and a real inspiration.” She will be sorely missed, but remembered with much affection. Indeed Barb McMullen was our rock star.
Vernice Myers - 1924 - 2017
From Cody, Wyoming, Vernice began her weaving career in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she was already well-known as a painter. In Michigan, Vernice’s weaving consisted mainly of large, commissioned wall hangings: two for the LAW School, two for the Physician’s Office Complex, and several for an interior decorator. Later Vernice broadened her production to include everything from totes and vests, to shawls and coverlets. She also spun and dyed yarn. Vernice founded Cody’s Yellowstone Weavers and Spinners Guild in 1976 and was one of the three original members of Western Weavers, a prolific complex weaving guild with members from both Montana and Wyoming. At age 76, Vernice continued to weave enthusiastically keeping three looms dressed and humming at all times. Vernice’s greatest gift was her enthusiasm for the arts of handweaving and handspinning.
Joyce Shepard - 1927 - 2018
Joyce found the lifestyle she was seeking in Bozeman in 1980. She worked as housemother at the Pi Beta Phi house on campus, and pursued classes in writing and fiber arts. She moved from the sorority house to a condo she set up as a fiber arts studio with looms, spinning wheels, and yarn, which were the focus of her activities for her remaining years. She was active in Spinners and Weavers groups in Bozeman. She was a volunteer at the Museum of the Rockies as an antique fabric preservationist under Margaret Wood and as a spinner at the Tinsley House, and at the Bozeman Symphony.