JERI RIGGS   Quilts and Beads

Jeri and one of her quilts


     My art is about the dialog between chaos and order.  Quilting (with all the techniques available) seems a natural medium for this interaction:  the choice of structured, straight-line piecework amid vibrant color, or the curves and variations of applique contrasting with regular geometric forms, or the use of dyes and inking on top of piecework, or even the regular movement of color across an unstructured piece all involve me in choosing the relative balance of order and chaos.  I am granted (some!) control over this interplay, as play it becomes, with the delights of happenstance amid a framework that contains and comforts.

     Beadwork speaks a similar language:  tiny points of color organized into a coherent design; stained glass without torches or sharp edges!  Geometry or not, small sculptures in glass and thread.

     In my previous life I followed the path of Science; becoming a Physician and then a practicing Psychiatrist seeking to balance chaos with order; fighting disease and mental illness with the rules and techniques of Science and Medicine. When I developed Fibromyalgia in 1992, I had to face the end of my ability to work this way, and was plunged into a world of pain and suffering without the comfort and control that I had previously taken for granted.  Quiltmaking was initially the only activity where I could escape my prison and be free to control some area of my life.  I was surprised by the temporary lifting of my pain during those creative times, and the joy I discovered in letting my imagination fly.

     It has been 8 years, and I have noticed my artwork change as I have changed, and as I have been encouraged in my efforts; by my dear friends who have supported my learning process; by teachers I have studied with, by the guilds I have been a part of and by my family who have suffered through my halting tenuous peace with my illness.

     It is time to share some of my explorations with you.  I hope my experiments give you joy in viewing them.  Please feel free to email me with your comments, criticisms, questions and enquiries!



Jeri Riggs August 2001
Copyright © 2001, Jeri Riggs