Helen has drawn inspiration for her work from a variety of areas. During her travels in Southwestern United States she visited a number of Pueblo Potteries in New Mexico, and was especially taken by the shapes and designs produced by Martina Martinez and her descendants – particularly Native American wedding vases. “I wanted to capture the quality of their style, handmade pieces giving the impression of something quite precious but without being highly glazed.”
Her early work emulated the ‘black-on-black’ style favoured by the Pueblo potters, however closer to home she found the weathered textures on pebbles led her to experiment further with the naked Raku technique perfected by ceramic artists such as David Roberts and Tim Andrews. Helen has been working with resist slips for a number of years, hand building all her designs using coiling, pinching and then utilising her own press moulds. She lightly burnishes all her work giving a matt finish that is reminiscent of the pebbles found on the beach. She also adds detailed textural or line designs to emphasise the various forms in her work.
After the birth of her children Helen’s work has become more figurative as the relationships between the four of them developed. Being a parent of identical twins she became interested in the shape and structures of the various DNA strands, and as they grow and become two different people, notions of nature over nurture fascinated her. “I wanted to bring this across in my most recent work as all of the pieces evolve from the same beginnings, but take on very different forms during the making process – culminating in the Raku firing which adds the definitive touch of individuality.”
Helen’s work is currently held in private collections in China, Canada, USA and all over Europe.