My love of ceramics began with an inspiring art teacher at Secondary School and I took a Pottery "O" Level age 13! I am possibly the only person to have ever done this! After that it was A levels and then Grimsby Art College for a Foundation Course, followed by North Staffs Poly, Stoke on Trent, where I gained a BAHons Degree in Hand Ceramics.
My first job in the art sector was in 1983 working for the Somerset Probation Service as an art and craft tutor in their day centre, progressing onto work for them as a Probation Assistant delivering a variety of additional courses including education for people with repeat offending and delivering life skills courses.
In 1991 after having my second child I returned to education and took a PGCE, specialising in early years, this however gave me the opportunity for a variety of teaching roles, including special education, the prison education service, youth service, mainstream education in both primary and secondary schools, adult education, children's clubs and INSET training for teachers.
In 2000, I left teaching full time and set up my own business, Helmgrove Crafts, from which I concentrated on making and selling my own work, working as a freelance INSET trainer, and working as an Artist in Residence for schools, youth groups, youth hostels, and gained work through the Foot and Mouth Recovery Fund working in remote rural community's after the events of the outbreak of 2001. I was a member of Made in Cumbria from 1995 to 2005 regularly selling my ceramics work in all their outlets. As an Artist in Residence I regularly gained funding from a variety of local Charities that supported art projects including Cumbria Arts in Education, through this I have created ceramic murals and installations in many schools, including a tiled floor, wall murals, and garden trails.
In 2005 after moving to Fowey in 2005, I became a member of Made in Cornwall and needing to work I gained work with Cornwall Council, my ceramics went on the back burner for a while, but I still did occasional craft fairs and sold my work in a local Fowey gallery and the Lander Gallery in Truro.
In 2011, I returned to ceramics virtually full time.
My work is mainly hand built, using a variety of techniques. I like to have humour in my work where possible and enjoy making quirky fun pieces that make people smile. I use Raku firing techniques, as well earthenware and stoneware.
I hope you enjoy my work.