Caroline Parrott

The Artist

As a child at home I was surrounded by creativity, my mother a keen textile artist, enthusiastically launched herself down many avenues allowing my sister and I to join her in trying the new techniques. My father a Senior Design Engineer for the RNLI, also trained in boat building and so was able to build my mum the appropriate piece of equipment for each new activity.

I remember when we were very young and insisted on getting in the way my dad would take off up the road to the local supermarket and return with the best quality cardboard boxes he could find. He would then proceed to build our entertainment - a Sindy house, a spaceship, there was nothing he couldn’t construct from a box.

At school I studied art and textiles, always keen to think big, be adventurous and add a little humour to my work. Following my A levels I chose not to go straight into higher education but instead get some valuable work experience. I took an apprenticeship with a large publishing company who trained me in graphic design whilst I attended college to complete a City in Guilds in the same subject, the job ended up lasting for over eight years. Outside of work hours I became addicted to learning different craft skills from stone carving to copper work, I arranged a workshop for almost every weekend.

Finally it was time to make a change. By chance I had seen an advert for a brand new Applied Art Degree to be held at a local college. The three year Degree would start me on the road to something I’d always dreamt of, becoming a maker. In order to subsidise myself during the course I took a part time administrative job at a local contemporary craft gallery, Walford Mill Crafts.

Thrown in the deep end quite literally my knowledge of the job grew quickly leading me to achieve the role of Education Officer in little over a year. As an enthusiast for the world of applied arts the role allowed me to research new makers, developing a lively workshop programme for all ages and also work with children from schools and different sections of the community on outreach projects, multicultural events and arts based activities.