Bruce Cochrane was born in Vancouver and moved to Montreal at the age of ten. He attended John Abbott College in Montreal, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, where he studied with Walter Ostrom, and the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, from which he received his MFA in 1978. Between 1978 and 2010, he taught at Sheridan College in Ontario, contributing significantly towards developing their ceramics program to be one of the best in Canada. Now a Professor Emeritus, he continues to be in demand as a Visiting Artist. He has conducted over 90 workshops across North America since 1980, and he currently works from his studio near Markdale, Ontario.Cochrane has presented his work in over 300 exhibitions. He is represented in numerous permanent collections including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum, The Canada Council Art Bank and Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute and the Kansas City Art Institute, and he has been featured a number of times in ceramics journals and books.
Cochrane is committed to function and utility, intending his pots to be experienced on both the physical and contemplative level. He works in stoneware using gas, soda and/or wood-fired reduction, and in earthenware with terra sigillata. He constructs his pots from thrown sections, using carved roulettes to apply patterns and textures. Referring often to traditional vessel forms, he reinterprets and revitalizes them to make them more relevant to contemporary society. He writes, “The way an object carries, lifts, cradles, pours and contains are properties which I strive to make engaging for the user, offering more than just convenience.” He often works in multiples or in series, exploring the numerous possibilities presented as the work develops. He has begun to combine press-molded and thrown forms to create new works influenced by rural architecture, ancient Chinese bronze vessels and European and North American folk pottery. Of particular note is a recent series of double-walled funerary jars, the outer walls of which are deeply carved through in geometric patterns that recall Islamic carved wooden screens or Mashrabiya.
Bruce Cochrane will discuss the development of his work on Thursday, September 18, 2014, in Room 105 at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby), at 7:30 pm. We look forward to seeing you there!
For more information on Bruce Cochrane, please see his website at http://www.brucecochrane.ca/