workshop with jason pollen

Wow! What better word to describe a workshop with artist Jason Pollen. I was lucky enough to spend 2 days with a group of 15 talented women and one truly amazing man (I know he is too humble to agree). I feel that meeting Jason has been a bit of a life changing experience and I’m terribly excited about it! I doubt that I can adequately share the feeling I experienced, but trust me when I tell you that it was an opportunity that I will remain forever grateful for. If you ever have a chance to study with Jason Pollen – DO IT!

working with a train going past

This workshop took place at the Artpoint Galleries and Studio Society building, where we set up shop in a gallery space. With doors wide open it didn’t take long to discover that we were next to some active train tracks. Made for some unusual background music, but nothing that could slow the fantastic flow of energy we had going.

We started the workshop by working on simple drawings that were passed from table to table, with each participant adding a mark. We did exercises where we expressed a word or phrase with simple tools on paper. It was a challenge to work with different media and in a different manner from what we were used to. Stimulates the gray matter! As a group we discussed all the drawings and anxiously fretted over what was to follow…

paper sketch exercises

reviewing sketches

careful consideraton

paper exercise

Our next exercises were done on canvas – plain canvas. Guess which single item I forgot to pack to the workshop? I meant to, I really did, but somehow I never made that last dash up to the studio to grab some. Fortunately my friend, Pam, was kind enough to share and I was able to get started. Then the fun really began. We were introduced to several new materials and it was great experimenting with their unique characteristics. We worked with pencils – fabulous thick water-soluble pencils that make expressive marks on fabric. We painted with fluid acrylic pigments, ironed fabrics together and stitched by hand and machine. The possibilities were endless and the variety of work produced was totally amazing. People were focused.

technique demo

everyone busy at work

our fearless leader

so much work - so little time

time flies when you're having fun

always more to learn

Jason was incredibly knowledgable and totally inspiring. He talked about his life, his work and the inspiration behind some of that work. He shared willingly and offered a wealth of technical information. His guidance was forthcoming and he was undaunted by our questions. We were able to experiment with new ideas in a supportive atmosphere. There is something to be said for working around other artists. The energy was vibrant.

hard at work

a little extra paint

After 2 days of  intense work, we gathered together to share and discuss some of what we had accomplished. These are works in progress, studies and experiments.

class work

class work

sharing our work

class work

sharing our work

class work
sharing our work

class work

sharing our work

class work

work in progress

sharing our work

sharing our work

class work

class work

class work

class work


Jason Pollen was a founding member and for many years the President of the Surface Design Association.  He was on the faculty of the Royal College of Art, London, Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute before serving as Chair of the fiber department at Kansas City Art Institute.  Jason exhibits his fabric constructions internationally and is widely known for his innovations in surface design.  He has designed textiles for dozens of fashion and home furnishing firms and regularly collaborates as the scenic designer for the Kansas City Ballet.  He was named Fellow by the American Crafts Council in 2006.  I have included a photo of a small Jason Pollen original which will now be residing in Calgary. Thought I’d show it off before it goes to the framer.
small face by Jason Pollen
Jason taught 3 workshops in the Calgary area and presented a wonderful lecture at ACAD. Next he travels to Vancouver for a couple of workshops and another lecture. I want to thank Karin at ioftheneedle for the terrific effort involved in arranging this series of workshops and lectures. This workshop was definitely a time to be inspired!
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10 thoughts on “workshop with jason pollen

  1. Kanerva says:

    Thanks for the share – I’ve passed this post to my mum and my son. They’ll enjoy it, while I’m the generation skipped 🙂


  2. Paula says:

    Thanks for writing down this wonderful, inspiring experience. I too enjoyed it very much. I loved to see all the pictures. thanks!
    Terri where will you do the framing? I have not yet figured out how and where to do this.


  3. Karin says:

    This was a joy to read, as I come down.
    Get in touch some time, I think we need to keep some momentum going to make the most of what happened.


  4. Jennifer M. says:

    That looks like an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂


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