Rowland and Chinami Ricketts use natural materials and traditional processes to create contemporary textiles. Chinami hand-weaves narrow width yardage for kimono and obi. Rowland hand-dyes textiles that span art and design. Together we grow all the indigo that colors our cloth, investing ourselves and our time in our textiles because we believe this way of working to be an essential part of the material’s integrity and authenticity.
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.
Chinami is a weaver who crafts traditional narrow-width yardage for kimono and obi using historical kasuri (ikat) techniques. After studying indigo dyeing in her native Tokushima, the center of indigo cultivation and processing in Japan, Chinami pursued an apprenticeship with Yumie Aoto, where she learned the kasuri and weaving techniques that form the foundation of her work today.
Our indigo (Polygonum tinctorium) begins its journey from seed to cloth in the early spring. Seeds are planted in a seedling bed, and the seedlings are transplanted and nurtured in the field. When harvesting, the dye-bearing leaves are dried and separated from the stems (above). These dry indigo leaves are mixed with water and composted for one hundred days to make the traditional Japanese indigo dye-stuff known as sukumo.