May 13, 2023

Program and Workshop

Deborah Silver

The Artist:

Deborah Silver is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She discovered her love of weaving while attending the Cleveland Institute of Art, attaining a BFA as a Fiber major and Drawing minor.

After a weaving internship, Deborah learned the craft of antique furniture upholstery. She then combined her skills to open her own fiber art business. She worked closely with interior designers, creating site-specific fiber commissions for private residences, businesses, and religious institutions.

Currently, Deborah designs and weaves pieces using the split-shed technique, transforming traditional patterns into a signature method of hand-weaving. All weft yarns travel from selvedge to selvedge, differentiating this cloth from tapestry. Her work is inspired by the increased cross-culturalism in the world which has been facilitated by technology, the ancient realm of road and trade, now advanced to hyper-speed.

Deborah’s weavings have been shown in numerous local and national juried exhibitions. In 2015, she received a Cleveland Jewish Arts and Culture Fellowship award. In 2017, she received third prize in the ARTneo national juried competition. She received the Complex Weavers Award and First Place at Complexity 2018. Deborah is also the recipient of a 2019 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award.

Deborah teaches split-shed weaving workshops internationally. In 2019, she published The Technique of Split-shed Weaving, a book that illustrates pictorial weaving using the split-shed process on four-shaft looms. Her articles have been published in Complex Weavers magazine.

Guild Meeting/Program: Split Shed Figurative Weaving

Deborah Silver will give a PowerPoint lecture including an explanation of the split-shed weaving process, how to form a split shed on different loom types, and the myriad structures that can be created using a split shed on just four shafts. Deborah will also show examples of her woven art and discuss her creative process. In addition, she will bring dozens of woven samples for attendees to peruse.

Date/Time: May 13, 2023 10:30 AM (following Guild meeting)

Location: St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD 20854


Extended Workshop: Multiple structures using a straight threading

Break out of blocks with split-shed weaving. Weave curves and blend colors using continuous wefts on a 4-shaft loom with no special equipment. In this workshop, students will create multiple combinations of weave structures using only four shafts and a straight threading. Only tie-ups and treadling are changed between samples. Most of these combinations would normally require a minimum of eight shafts. Students will experiment with combinations of twills, summer and winter, double weave, Han damask, taqueté and more! Woven samples include continuous, complementary, and supplementary wefts, as well as wefts which combine to produce shading for pictorial weaving. This is the same color-blending process Deborah Silver uses to create her art. Students will also learn to make a cartoon on cloth that will advance with the warp and will not wrinkle when beating.

Although students will not be able to complete all the samples in class, they will leave with the ability to complete them at home with all the drafts and instructions.

Date/Time: May 13, 2023 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM, May 14-15, 2023, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Locations: Clubhouse 1, Potomac Room, Leisure World of Maryland

Workshop Fee: Members: $200.00 Non-Members: $275.00

Student’s Materials Fee: $15.00 Deborah will provide all cartoon-making materials and handouts. Materials fee, payable by either credit card, check, or cash, will be collected by the artist at the workshop.

Student Supply List:
4-shaft loom. Looms will need to be pre-warped.
8/4 cotton carpet warp
Three (or more) 10-14” flat/stick shuttles.
One (or more) 8-16” shuttle of your choosing that will be comfortable to use with an 8- to 10-inch-wide warp.
Various weft yarns. Most can be found in your stash. Instructor will email samples of acceptable yarn types before the workshop.

Optional items:
Medium point permanent marker in contrasting color to your warp.
Clamp light and extension cord
Ball and bobbin winder
A few large safety pins
Jack looms: Texsolv cord and pegs
10 yards thick wool or cotton rug weft scraps (for filler between samples).
Fishing sinkers or weights for loose selvedge yarns.

Click here to print supply list.