Deborah Kaplan – Forest Text #1

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Forest Text #1 is scroll of woodland calligraphies. Just as Chinese calligraphy originated in carved and painted abstractions of nature, these woven symbols are a present day abstracted expression of meaning and presence in woodlands.

Our eyes and minds look for pattern and meaning. They are built for it. Here we see a new language of the forest, with rhythm and relationship of beings in growth and striving in community, composing a jazzy rhythm of being.


The overall structure is an alternating 7/1 and 1/7 satin, offset from each other to allow one to slide under the other. The foreground warp dominant satin is woven selvage to selvage. The background weft dominant satin weaves selvage to selvage, showing in all background areas, with pickup (pick down, really) occurring in the areas of foreground expression. The background weft floats on the back freely in the pickup areas. The floats were couched into the fabric on the back after removal from the loom. This structure came to me as a cross between split shed weaving and Jacquard multiple pass weft pattern lines. It requires one pickup per pattern line, rather than two as would be required for split shed. 8 shaft, 16 treadle weave plus 5 ends of selvage used. Occasional weft inclusions, twill lines.


36.5 x 7 x 1


Cloth: 16/1 linen, gold metallic, iridescent polyester, polyamide/copper, raw silk/stainless steel, 20/2 mercerized cotton

Support materials: wood board, Velcro, washers, book cloth, staples, eyes, nylon filament


Toika 32 shaft

  • Deborah Kaplan