Michele Heather Pollock

Michele Heather Pollock
Lost Lake Studio
Stitched paper art, framed paper sculptures, and handmade books
October hours: daily 10–5
Year round by appointment

1581 N. Lost Lake Road, Columbus

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Michele Heather Pollock enjoys working in the spaces where two things meet:  fine art and fine craft, visual art and words, science and art, function and beauty.

“In these places of intersection, I find space to explore my own creative vision and develop new techniques,” Michele explains. “It’s where I find inspiration.”

Michele’s work, made mostly from paper, combines collage techniques with bookbinding techniques.  Then she adds sewing, creating unusual and imaginative paper quilts and paper sculptures.

“I enjoy both the opportunities and challenges associated with working with paper,” Michele says.  “It’s such a common material and one of the first art supplies introduced to small children.”

She has an unusual background, with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.F.A. in Poetry.  She studied hand bookbinding at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and that was when everything started coming together.

“I was writing poetry,” Michele explains, “and I wanted something physical to house the words.”

While binding books, which she sews together by hand with multiple needles simultaneously, Michele realized she was sewing into paper.

“It was a revelation,” she says.  “One of those light bulb moments.”

She immediately went to the workbench and starting adding hand stitching to her paper collages.  Soon, she was experimenting with putting them through the sewing machine.

One thing usually leads to another, and Michele’s work is no exception.  After taking two classes at the book arts center – one on boxmaking and one on creating pop-up books – Michele realized she could create book “pop-ups” but frame them in handmade shadowbox frames.

“Putting the pop-ups in frames opens up huge possibilities in terms of materials,” Michele explains.  “I am not restricted to only those things that can fold flat once the book is closed.”

Those additional materials include buttons, beads, and even twigs and acorns from her own wooded yard.

In addition to framed stitched paper work, Michele also creates functional items using these techniques.

“I am also interested in creating functional items that are beautiful,” Michele says.  “I consider my stitched paper bookmarks, my mixed media greeting cards, my Holiday ornaments and my hand bound journals to be artworks on a small scale, artworks that people can use and touch often in their daily lives.”

During the tour, Michele will be demonstrating to visitors the unusual techniques she has developed over the years in her studio.