About the Artist

Bruce Cochrane

New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, MFA (1978)
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, BFA (1976)

Bruce was born in Vancouver and moved to Montreal at the age of ten. There he was introduced to ceramics at John Abbott College and was encouraged by his first instructor, Julia Manitius, to continue his education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he studied with Walter Ostrom. From 1976-78, he attended the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, where he received his M.F.A. He has taught ceramics at Sheridan College in Ontario from 1978-2010 and continues to conduct workshops and exhibit on an international level. His work is in the collection of such notable institutions as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. Bruce’s home and studio are located in Mississauga, Ontario.


After 30 years of working in clay, utility continues to serve as the foundation for my ideas. The pots I make, no matter how simple or complex, are meant to be experienced on a physical and contemplative level. 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. Pottery has the potential to affect peoples lives in a very real way. The challenge is to go beyond the mundane and purely technical solutions which only compete with a vast industrial market. The pottery I find most compelling in terms of its vitality and its reflection of the maker are those who reach back into the traditions of vessel making not simply in reproduction but rather how these historical models are reinterpreted and revitalized to have more relevance to contemporary society.

My current work is made with stoneware clay and gas fired in a reduction kiln or a soda or wood fired atmosphere. I am also working with similar forms in earthenware with terra sigillata in a reducing atmosphere. The pots are constructed from thrown sections that allow for greater articulation of form and facilitates the application of pattern and texture through the use of carved roulettes.