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Tromp as Writ

To weavers, the phrase “tromp as writ” means that the sequence of threading is repeated in the foot-operated treadling; a single set of instructions can function for both setting up the loom and for the movement of the weaver’s feet while working. The works in this exhibition explore the interaction of text and cloth through hand- woven imagery, yardage with patterns derived from letterforms, print that becomes texture, line as material, and chance inscriptions found underfoot. In this case, “tromp” is both the movement of feet on the loom and against the pavement. “Writ” is the notation of the weaving draft as well as the text-based writing systems that try to codify ineffable experience in language. Between these words, a conjunction of only two letters points to the vast and complex interlacing of language, movement, pattern, and written notation.

Please visit the virtual exhibit of Tromp as Writ, as well as the recording of the CDMC Conversation Series: Amanda Thatch and Zoe Cohen.


Tromp as Writ was presented in April, 2021, at the Ruth Davis Design Gallery, supported by the Center for Design and Material Culture and the Design Studies Program at the School of Human Ecology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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