Claire Benn, a UK-based Textile Artist, was born in Canada in 1958 but moved to England at the age of three, and counts herself as English, but with strong family ties to Canada. She lives with her husband James in Surrey (in the south of England).
Claire stitched a bit at college, dropped out, stopped stitching and started working. By 1990 she was working as a freelance training and development consultant, which allowed her to carve out time to re-engage with textiles, and then began to stitch again. Sleeping under a Mennonite quilt in 1993 sparked an interest in quilts; items of both form and function – which appealed. She began to explore quilt making in 1996 but quickly became more interested in the wet processes of dyeing and surface design - what could be done to a piece of cloth amazed me, and still does.
In 2000 she chose to engage with textiles full time. In 2001 Claire Benn teamed up with Leslie Morgan to form ‘Committed to Cloth’ and together they have created one of the foremost teaching practices the U.K. Although Claire has started to reduce her teaching commitments to focus more on her own work, Claire still teaches retreat-style workshops with Committed to Cloth and at overseas venues in the U.S.A. and Italy.