Rowland Ricketts

Rowland Ricketts: Work Time on view at Museum of Contemporary Craft at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR, January 29, 2016 – April 23, 2016. Image by Mario Gallucci.’

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Rowland Ricketts utilizes natural dyes and historical processes to create contemporary textiles that span art and design.  Trained in indigo farming and dyeing in Japan, Rowland received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Art, Architecture & Design at Indiana University.  His work has been exhibited at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum and has been recognized with a 2012 United States Artists Fellowship.

“The smell of an indigo vat just as it begins fermenting and springs to life is one of ripeness; a moment of rich potentiality when, as a maker, I momentarily stand between the history of the materials and processes that helped me get the indigo thus far and the promise of all the works that the vat is still yet to realize”.

Mobile Section”, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Indigo – Rowland Ricketts
Sound – Norbert Herber, 2016, copyright Rowland Ricketts

Mobile Section”, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Indigo – Rowland Ricketts
Sound – Norbert Herber, 2016, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“I grow and process my own indigo (Polygonum tinctorium) using Japanese methods that are centuries old. The leaves are harvested, dried, and composted by hand to make the traditional Japanese indigo dyestuff called sukumo. The sukumo is in turn fermented in wood-ash lye to create a natural indigo vat”.

Preparing to transplant, When the seedling are about 6in tall they are pulled from the seedling bed for transplanting. Copyright Rowland Ricketts

Applying resist, Rice paste resist is applied to either one or both sides of the cloth through a stencil, copyright Rowland Ricketts

Immersion, The cloth is immersed in the dye vat, copyright Rowland Ricketts

Drying, The rinsed cloth is hung to dry before being sewn, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“My decision to work this way is one that consciously favors slower, natural processes and materials over more immediate, synthetic options. Today, with petroleum-derived indigo readily and cheaply available, my choice to plant, transplant, weed, harvest, winnow, dry, and compost the indigo by hand is not one of necessity. Instead it is a conscious act of recognition that all the energy extended in the farming and processing of the indigo plants is just as much a part of the final dyestuff as the indigo molecules themselves”.

Source: http://www.rickettsindigo.com/

Photos has been taken from the artist’s website and are covered by copyright  

Red Aligned and Centered, Yellow Moving Through”, Indigo, madder, and goldenrod dyed mop cotton, silk, plain weave, 144in x 90in, 2011, copyright Rowland Ricketts

Red Aligned and Centered, Yellow Moving Through – detail”, Indigo, madder, and goldenrod dyed mop cotton, silk, plain weave, 144in x 90in, 2011, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“Unbound – Series 1 No. 2”, Indigo and madder-dyed linen, undyed wool. (2016-2018)
26” x 34”, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“Unbound – Series 1 No. 5”, Indigo and madder-dyed linen, undyed wool. (2016-2018)
26” x 34”, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“I am Ai, We are Ai – Warehouse Installation”, Evening view of Returning indigo at Omiya Shrine, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“Supply and Demand Installation-Detail”, Indigo dyed paper yarn, weaving, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“Some of its Parts”, Zuckerman Museum of Art Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, copyright Rowland Ricketts

“Unbound – Series 3 No. 1”, Indigo and madder-dyed wool, undyed wool. (2017-2018)
61” x 68”, copyright Rowland Ricketts

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