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HGA’s Convergence® 2014 Providence Tours 

Tours of the Rhode Island area
Monday, July 14 - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Here’s your chance to see some of Rhode Island and the surrounding area. These tours, custom designed for HGA’s Convergence® conference, allow participants to view behind-the-scenes areas not available to the public. View private textile collections and tour museum study areas with expert guides.

Departure and return times are listed. All tours will depart from and return to Rhode Island Convention Center. Tours are open to all and require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation. Purchase tour tickets on the Convergence registration form. Some tour tickets may be available on site at the Convergence 2014 Providence conference.

Please note: Each tour participant must have individual registration.

Subscribe to HGA's email newsletter for more information about HGA’s Convergence 2014 Providence conference. Sign up at the bottom of this page.


Cape Cod

Tour 1: Colorful Cape Cod

Monday, July 14, 2014.

Depart: 8:30 a.m. Return: 5:00 p.m.

Take a trip to scenic Cape Cod to the studio of celebrated dyer and weaver Randall Darwall to examine many of his exquisite creations crafted in hand-dyed silk. Then explore the home he shares with Brian Murphy which houses their large collection of contemporary crafts and ethnic textiles. Take time to survey their surrounding gardens in full summer color. You will then visit the Cultural Center of Cape Cod to see the Cape Cod Weavers exhibit especially organized for this tour. Lunch included. Price: $100


Tour 2: American Textile History Museum

Monday, July 14, 2014.

Depart: 8:30 a.m. Return: 6:00 p.m.

Visit the American Textile History Museum (ATHM) in Lowell, Massachusetts, to meet with curators and the librarian for a behind-the-scenes tour of collections not currently on view and to see their storage areas. You will have an up-close look at artifacts representing the breadth and depth of the collections with time for questions and group discussion. View these exhibitions at your own pace in self-guided tours, with museum staff available for questions and help finding items of interest. Textile Revolution tells the story of textiles in America from the late18th century to the 21st century— from handlooms and linen to carbon fibers and nano-spinning. Also view Fiberarts International 2013 the juried triennial exhibition of contemporary fiberart created by established and emerging artists featuring current trends and innovations in this evolving medium. The ATHM shop features heirloom products made on vintage looms at the museum and other textile-related items. Price: $110


FULL -  Tour 3: Saunderstown Weaving School & North Light Fibers Micro Yarn Mill

Monday, July 14, 2014.

Depart: 8:30 a.m. Return: 7:15 p.m.

The Saunderstown Weaving School, established in 1974, houses forty-five looms and a library of nearly 2,000 volumes. Looms—from tapestry to compu-dobby—include those built by W.H.H. Rose, and by Milo Gallinger for his wife Osma Gallinger Tod, a loom from the Bauhaus similar to Anne Albers loom, and a tape loom that belonged to Berta Frey. Participants can sit at one or more of these historic looms and throw the shuttle. Weaving school students will talk about their work, and show examples.

Board a high speed ferry and travel (30 minutes) to scenic Block Island, to visit North Light Fibers, a Micro Yarn Mill producer of various yarns blended from alpaca, yak, bamboo, camel, and soy silk. In the mill, a wide range of yarn weights, from lace/fingering yarns all the way to super chunky and rug yarn, are produced. The mill started in 2009 and is surrounded by an animal farm with alpacas, camels, yaks, and other fantastic and exotic animals. Watch how the yarns are tumbled, washed, picked, dyed, de-haired, carded, spun, plied, and finished. Lunch included. Price: $130


Tour 4: Artist Studio Tours

Monday, July 14, 2014.

Depart: 8:30 a.m. Return: 5:00 p.m.

Meg Little, of Middletown, Rhode Island, crafts tufted rugs on huge frames, using a hand-held machine, adapted from a drill, that blends many colors as one thread. Meg learned to make rugs while teaching in England in the 1980s. Her studio, On The Spot, was converted from a stable, near her home, a renovated barn. During the studio tour, see a plethora of rugs, and her huge collection of yarns as Meg discusses several rugs in progress.Makik

Sabareh Malik, of Warwick, Rhode Island— who formerly trained as a graphic designer in Pakistan—now works in textile mixed media constructing bottles and stones made from silk and polyester. Her studio also includes her work in shibori, painted rock wall pieces, watercolor, and calligraphy. Participants will also view her large collection of Indian and Pakistani embroidery heirlooms from her family in Pakistan.

Sherrill Hunnibell, of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, creates altered books, fiber constructions, works on paper, and mixed media paintings. She will demonstrate her technique of painting and attaching small objects and layers of papers on the surface of books, then rubbing away some of the surface in her fabulous, well-equipped studio. Lunch included. Price: $95


FULL -  Tour 5: Newport and Bristol

Monday, July 14, 2014.

Depart: 8:30 a.m. Return: 5:45 p.m.

Experience the magnificence of Rough Point, the Newport home of Doris Duke—heiress, philanthropist, world traveler, and Newport preservationist. This mansion provides a sweeping ocean view and expansive grounds and is home to a remarkable collection of fine art. Take a behind-the-scenes tour led by their curators and conservator viewing the textile collection of furniture, tapestries, and clothing such as Louis XVI upholstered furniture, 16th century Flemish tapestries, and Doris Duke’s fashion statements and accessories. Learn about textile conservation projects stabilizing a number of garments and the valance reproduction project, a volunteer-led initiative to recreate two important textiles in the collections.

At the Newport Historical Society participants will view 18th and 19th century gowns, shoes, samplers and domestic textiles from the collection of items seldom seen on exhibit.

At the Haffenreffer Collections & Research Center (for the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University’s teaching museum) in Bristol, Rhode Island, view a large collection of baskets, and Guatemalan and other Central American textiles not normally available to the public. Lunch included. Price: $150



Tour 6: Small Expressions & More at the Fuller Craft Museum

Tuesday, July 15. 2014.

Depart: 9:30 a.m. Return: 3:30 p.m.

See HGA’s annual international juried exhibition Small Expressions at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. This exhibition showcases fiber art on a small scale and highlights work of fiber artists from all over the world. In additon, view a curated Fiber Exhibition and go behind the scenes with a curator to view selected works from the Fuller’s collection of contemporary masters such as Randall Darwall, Arline Fisch, Mary Merkel Hess, Gyöngy Laky, Kari Lønning, and JoAnne Russo. Lunch included.

Price: $100


Tour 7: University of Rhode Island

Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

Depart: 9:30 p.m. Return: 3:00 p.m.

The URI Historic Textile and Costume Collection contains almost 20,000 objects, which includes both costumes and textiles from all over the world. Several collections of handwoven textiles and clothing from Rhode Island families date from the late 18th century. Nineteenth-century clothing and accessories for American women, men, and children are well represented, and twentiethcentury objects, particularly designer garments, are currently being added, along with recent accessions to the Latin American and African collections. Participants will see the “Curator’s Choice” exhibition in the Textile Gallery and examine objects selected from the Historic Textile and Costume Collections that illustrate particularly interesting fibers, yarns, fabrics, finishes, color, and ornamentation. Lunch Included. Price:$100


Tour 8: Slater Mill

Wednesday, July16, 2014.

Depart: 9:30 a.m. Return: 3:00 p.m.

slater Mill

A National Historic Landmark, Slater Mill Museum brings history to life through tours of Slater Mill (1793), Wilkinson Machine Shop (1810), the Sylvanus Brown House (1758), and the Pawtucket Visitors Center. See a water-wheel-powered machine shop, walk over a large-scale floor map of the Blackstone River Valley, and watch a film about how the mills began early in the 19th century. Learn about spinning thread and weaving cotton textiles on vintage machines. Discover the history of America’s “second” unnamed Revolution and how it would secure what the colonial patriot’s bloody Revolution of 1775 had won militarily. On-site tours are led by costumed interpreters who share their knowledge about the “cotton economy,” child labor, unions, immigration, agrarian and urban America, and the American entrepreneurial spirit. Join the curator of the Slater Mill for a private look at rare textiles, textile manufacturing tools, and records from the museum’s collection. Since its founding Slater MIll has collected objects relating to the New England textile manufacturing and machine tool industries inlcuding patterns and samples from the spinning, knitting, weaving, textile printing, and lace making industries, along with hand-made textiles, textile advertising ephemera, and photographs and business records. Lunch included. Price: $90


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