About me - influences and inspirations

 
 

After a degree in Philosophy and a career as a languages teacher, in 2008 Helen started her own business creating textile pieces, accessories and cards, selling her work online and at curated events and in galleries across the UK as well as taking commissions for private collections.

Alongside her commercial work, Helen has created bodies of work for exhibition, including Stitched Up, 2017, a solo exhibition of textile self portraits examining the ways in which we know ourselves; Somewhere in Particular, 2018 with artist Ann McCall, a series of stitch sketches exploring the urban environment of central Wakefield; and The Doffer and the Fancy: Re-imagining the Machine, 2019, a major solo exhibition of large textile sculpture at Leeds industrial Museum inspired by and exhibited alongside the amazing mill machinery which forms part of the collection of Leeds Museums and Galleries.

An established textiles tutor, Helen delivers workshops for the NHS, National Trust, Royal Horticultural Society, The Hepworth Wakefield and privately by arrangement.

From 2012-14 Helen completed The City and Guilds Level 3 course in Feltmaking with ArtyBird Carnforth, at the end of which she received the prestigious 2014 City and Guilds Medal For Excellence in Constructed Textiles.

Helen’s work typically combines wet felting, needle felting, hand stitch and free motion embroidery. (Click here for descriptions of these processes.)

She creates her own base felts incorporating different wools, fibres and textiles for texture, often dyeing the materials before or after felting. Drawing is also an important part of her practice and underpins her use of stitch to add line and text to her pieces. In some pieces she also combines her interest in printing techniques such as lino cut, wood engraving, collagraph and drypoint to add a further dimension to the felts both before and after stitching.