WAKEFIELD ARTS and Crafts Society President Nancy Smethurst is shown spinning wool into yarn.  (Gail Lowe Photo)

WAKEFIELD ARTS and Crafts Society President Nancy Smethurst is shown spinning wool into yarn.  (Gail Lowe Photo)

Published in the April 11, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Clubs come and go. But the Wakefield Arts and Crafts Society is a club that has endured for more than a century.

For the past 102 years, members have met once a month to make quilts, knit hats and scarves, jewelry and many other items. They also handcraft fleece blankets for sick children, knitted or crocheted hats for premature babies and heart pillows and shawls for cancer patients.

Once a year members set aside a day when they exhibit their arts and crafts and sell them so others can display their beauty inside and outside of their homes. This year, the annual exhibit was held on Saturday, April 8, at the Wakefield/Lynnfield United Methodist Church on Vernon Street, and hundreds of people attended to view all kinds of handicrafts — from handmade Teddy bears and Easter bunnies to beautiful quilts.

“We had a great turnout at the exhibit,” said a thrilled JoAnn Rondelli, who will take over as president of the Society beginning in May, replacing Nancy Smethurst. “Our annual exhibit demonstrates our works of art. We showcase the work of our talented members in a variety of media whether that be painting, photography, woodcarving, jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, quilting and a wide array of needlecrafts.”

Through the years, the society changed with the times. In 1923, the name was changed from The Wakefield Handicraft Society to Wakefield Arts and Crafts Society, and the group meetings moved from private homes to the Beebe Library, then the YMCA and First Parish Congregational Church on Church Street. Today, meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at the Wakefield/Lynnfield Methodist Church on Vernon Street.

In 1930, the Society contributed to the restoration of the historic Hartshorne House, Wakefield’s oldest Home on Church Street. Each year, members of the Society are invited to decorate the parlor for the Hartshorne House’s Christmas Tea.

Meetings still include workshops and guilds to teach new skills and techniques. Though interests and tools used have evolved, participation in older art forms is still very much alive.

Guests are welcome at regular monthly meetings. A $5 donation is suggested for each meeting attended.

Membership is open by jury approval. Articles must be of two different crafts or two different techniques of the same craft. For more information, visit https://wakefieldace.webs.com or call Nancy at 978-851-4608.