weavers guild of rhode island history

How we started

By Janet Cooper, President (October 2017)

On Oct. 21, 1947, an organizational meeting was held at RISD with

Mr. William E. Fales, head of the textile department, presiding. Our first

president was Mrs. William Brigham. The first meeting was held on Nov.

28, 1947, in the “Little Museum” at the Brigham’s home in Providence. Mr.

and Mrs. Brigham were the speakers. Mr. Brigham produced Villa Looms,

a large, Swedish style countermarch loom. Dues were $3. Sixty-nine

names were listed on our first member list. (Wouldn’t you like to know

what the “Little Museum” was? I would!)

Here are a few other tidbits: The first bulletin was in April 1948, with

a logo designed by Mr. Will Taylor, Director of the Art Department at Brown

University. The logo showed a nursing lamb woven into the web on a

loom. This was thought to be inappropriate and a second logo was

designed, the one we use now, of a lamb on a shuttle.

In 1995, the guild officially became a nonprofit corporation, a large

endeavor undertaken by members Janet Doyle, Vicki DiMartino, Katie

Schelling, Betty Kennedy and Nancy Ayton.

We are able to commemorate the past today because of those who

committed to the guild with their time and talent. We are also here today

because we have continued their work for 70 years.

Today, we have 61 members and our dues are $30.