The Regina Handicraft Guild and The Craftsmen Ltd. 1908-1913

1912 Craftsmen Ltd from Building directory resized

From a 1912 Regina Builders’ and Contractors’ Directory found online

The Regina Handicraft Guild (c.1908), a civic group that offered companionship and technical skill teaching for aspiring craftspeople and The Craftsmen, Ltd. (1908-1913), an architectural design firm, were both initiated by F. Chapman Clemesha.  That is why I have decided to group these two separate entities together.

The boom period of Saskatchewan settlement held unprecedented opportunities for architects and many were attracted to the province prior to 1912. Out-size projects, like the construction of the Saskatchewan Legislature Building, required highly skilled designers and furnishing specialists.

Trained in the Arts & Crafts tradition in England, Clemesha came to Regina, Saskatchewan with a mission which he tried to fulfill with these two groups.  He was also a member of a more conventional architectural firm called Reilly and Clemesha. Clemesha served overseas in World War I (For a biography and more about Clemesha, see my blog on the two World Wars)

What I am presenting here are all the articles in the Morning Leader that I could find on these related projects which tell their story better than I could. NOTE about the links. Google News Archive looks for headlines to link. Few of the stories have headlines so I have tried to link with the nearest headline. You sometimes have to move around the page slightly to find the particular article referred to.

The Regina Guild of Handicraft -a short story

Jan. 28, 1908– organization announcement

Feb.1, 1908 – first meeting

Feb.10, 1908 – meeting in old fire hall

Feb. 14, 1908 – report on their activities

Feb. 24, 1908– announcement of classes

Feb. 26, 1908– another class announcement

April 9, 1908 – drawing class announced and continuation of program

That is all I ever found about this fascinating group.  I think the city was too small for such an enterprise but it probably allowed certain individuals to develop a profile in the community based on the talents they showed at the meetings and classes.

The Craftsmen, Ltd. – a fuller story

Oct. 17, 1908 – furniture exhibition

May 21, 1910 clipping from a much larger feature ad

May 21, 1910 – Yes, they built boats, too. Look at both the ad at top and the article below.

Aug. 3, 1911 – Furniture for Legislature shown at summer fair

Dec. 22, 1911 – Work on Regina College

Dec. 2, 1913 – financial difficulties and presumably their demise. Link goes to prior page, scroll right to next page.

There is no further mention of this business in Regina.  However, if you look at my blog links on the Regina Society for the Advancement of Arts, Literature and Science, you will see that Clemesha and the Craftsmen were involved in the society and their exhibitions.


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