techniques
jan rickman - contemporary fiber art & design - techniques
The unique and vibrant images created by Jan are achieved with her highly versatile and skilled designing with shape, color, fabric, dyes and thread.   Following is a brief explanation of how she achieves her finished work.
hand-dyed cotton

hand-dyed cotton


Once the design concept is in place, Jan's fiber pieces are built on richly colored cotton fabric that she hand-dyes with Procion MX (fiber-reactive) dyes.   Some of the techniques used are table dyeing, hang dyeing, tub dyeing, scrunch dyeing, fold dyeing and shibori. After the newly dyed cotton dries, it is washed and then rinsed numerous times until the water runs clear.   After being dried the fabric is steam pressed. During this step jan "bonds" with each piece of cotton, memorizing the details of the colors, textures and patterns and cataloguing them for future reference.   Later, acrylic paint is sometimes added to the surface of the fabric to add dimension and depth.

applique

applique and free-motion embriodery
The main shapes of each design are cut out individually by hand.   They are then applied to the background with a fused appliqué technique.

The bold colors that make up the pieces of the horse's face shown here are individually appliqued.   Much like a puzzle, each piece is individually applied to the background to form the final design.

thread painting

thread painting

More color and texture are layered onto each piece using a stitching technique known as "thread painting." Jan adds countless stitches to the surface of the cotton using a sewing machine, blending the thread and fabric colors until the combined effect of the stitches and hand-dyed cotton is that of paint on canvas.   This is a free-motion machine stitching technique in which there is no pressure placed on the fabric during stitching, thus allowing the piece to be moved freely in any direction to achieve the desired texture and detail.
hidden images

hidden images

In many of the larger creations Jan has completed since 1997 there is a small image such as a bird, lizard, wolf or horse hidden somewhere in the work.   This image not only authenticates the work as hers but also may represent a dream or thought that echoes through the theme or design.   In her equine pieces, for instance, each hidden image is a small horse (as pictured here in the piece entitled "Stormy").
© jan rickman - 2017 all rights reserved
Red River Design - Whitewater - Colorado Please call Jan at (970) 201-0004 or email her at JanRickman @ Yahoo.com  Red River Design - Whitewater - Colorado
site map