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On October 29, Historic New England’s collections experts held their first one-day decorative arts workshop. Despite the threat of a nasty nor’easter, the hands-on program attracted twenty-six enthusiastic attendees. The day began with a fast-paced look at the history of furniture, followed by a lively overview of the history of textile manufacturing and design.
Curators led an exploration of ceramic body types and decorative techniques, inviting guests to examine Chinese porcelain cups, English tin-glazed earthenware tiles, and eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century examples of British creamware and pearlware. After a quick lunch, the group learned about basketry made by members of the Abenaki and Mi’kmaq tribes, among others. An introduction to historic wallpapers delved into Historic New England’s renowned collection. The day ended with a tour of the Collections and Conservation Center, just before the wet snowflakes began to fall.