Pawtucket, Rhode Island – Thanks to sculptor Donald Gerola, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, sports the nation’s—and perhaps the world’s—first woven river. Pawtucket is home to Slater Mill, one of America’s first successful textile mills and birthplace of America’s industrial revolution. Weaving the Blackstone At Slater Bridge celebrated that history by using 30,000 feet of polyester, nylon, and polypropylene cords manufactured locally to create geometric weavings that spanned the Pawtucket River. The cables were suspended anywhere from 3 to 36 feet above the surface of the water. To support the cables at three spots along the riverbanks, Gerola built giant heddles (a heddle is the part of the loom through which thread passes). The piece symbolically connected the water, which was used as a power source for the old mill, with the “fabric” it helped create. In recent years, Pawtucket has been working to transform itself from an industrial town into an arts community. It offers special tax exemptions for artists and has redeveloped many of its old mills into artist studios. The Weaving the Blackstone project was funded by the local arts festival and a local printing company and installed in late December 2011 through January 2012.