Clarissa Cochran - Textile Artist, Printmaker
Brought up in Cambridge and spending many childhood holidays on the north Norfolk coast, the sea became a recurrent theme. I studied costume design at Wimbledon Art School but disillusioned with work in the theatre, and inspired by Kathleen Raine?s ?The main function of art is to heal the soul?, trained to become an art therapist. I taught painting and drawing in Community Education as my children grew up, and have always painted and worked with fabrics. Inspired by the Japanese approach to design, and their special approach to dyeing, indigo dyeing became a vehicle for working on fabric collages inspired mainly by rivers the sea and the night sky, and as a means of reaching many people through workshops. I am motivated by a need to respond to ?the beauty of the earth?, whether in the precise designs of nature or the spirit of place in the broader landscape of the East Anglian coast?line.
I make pictures (fabric/paper collages), scarves, etc using mainly indigo-dyed silks and cottons, and shibori techniques, (Japanese style resist dyeing). Delicate transparent fabrics and papers, layered with contrasting deep indigo richness. The power of a structured design (the formality of some of the shibori techniques), together with the energies of the organic, (as decided by the vagaries of the indigo vat). I run indigo dyeing workshops throughout the summer.
I also make small editioned woodcuts and use printmaking techniques in some of the collages.
Membership of Craft Societies (Professional)
I was a long-term member of Suffolk Crafts Society (till moving away from Suffolk), still show with Norfolk Contemporary Crafts Society, and am an active member of Essex Craft Society.
I also belong to the Cambridge Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild, who recently selected me for their Award for Dyeing.