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Weaving Stories of Female Strength & Creating a Fiber Non-Profit with Jessica Pinsky

I have followed Jessica Pinsky’s work since 2007 because this woman was my best friend in graduate school at Boston University. We would visit each others studios, talk about art over drinks and overall support and give feedback to each other. Jessica’s drive to create artwork and start major projects is unmatched which is evident in her prolific work and the space she has created in Cleveland, OH Praxis Fiber Workshop that houses looms, a gallery space, a shop, a dye garden and now a digital weaving lab.

In this episode, Jessica and I talk about her current body of work that responds to her pregnancy journey, taking risks in your work, setting up parameters in your work, and starting a fiber workshop.

Jessica grew up in Akron, Ohio and moved to Cleveland in 2011 after receiving a BFA in Studio Art from New York University in 2006 and an MFA in painting from Boston University in 2009. She began teaching at Cleveland Institute of Art in 2011 and is currently serving as faculty in the Sculpture and Expanded Media department. Together with Cleveland Institute of Art, Jessica founded Praxis Fiber Workshop, a community textile studio in June, 2015 and continues to serve as the Executive Director.

My work is planned and executed based on degrees of equality. Previous work has closely examined color and form within cloth, and is consistently pushing the boundaries of the structure of woven cloth. With lots of experimentation I discovered I could make cloth behave very differently with the same basic materials, but changing just a few things about those materials. For example, I can hand spin yarn to be very tight and twist upon itself, or very loose so it hangs without body. My weavings explore a metaphor about how human beings are made of the same material, but can behave very differently.”


-Taking a risk in your work

-Starting a new medium

- “If you don’t feel a little bit afraid there is something wrong”

- “We just have ourselves and our inner voice”

- Always be learning

- Her experience buying a building

- Starting Praxis Fiber Workshop

- Creating a natural dye garden

- Digital Loom

- Creating a residency program

- Working in strict parameters

- Making more personal work

- Healing Imagery

- Stolen hours in the studio

- Knowing yourself

Artist Shout Outs:

Tina Cassara


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