Helen graduated from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in 2002, with a BA (Hons.) Ceramics. She has since completed an MA at Wolverhampton University.
She has used her MA to develop her professional practise and to branch out into different areas of artNottage; developing work to be encountered in different realms such as public art and gallery pieces. The work she has created has been united by the theme of mental health, evolving from her previous body of work which took inspiration from wider aspects of the human condition.
She has been working on vessel forms associated with the wider field of health. She produces apothecary jars inspired by the elegant shape of traditional glass pharmacy jars and bell jars which were a popular form of presentation exemplified by Victorian anatomical displays.
The figurative pieces she produces are made in a combination of terracotta and white St.Thomas paperclay, which provides strength during the making process. The figures are formed from a series of press-moulded pieces which are altered after they are removed from the mould. The interior of each piece contains a substructure, this is hand built providing strength to the fragile surface and its form echoes that of the human skeletal structure. The torso is produced from a body cast and the other elements are taken from casts of modeled pieces.
She applies colour and texture to the clay prior to the making process, transferring coloured slips from a plaster slab to the clay, giving it a more subtle finish. Texture is formed using a combination of carved plaster slabs, bisque moulds and extruded clay. She fires the work to 1150c; this gives a more desirable colour to the terracotta. She then applies a combination of oxides and clear glaze which is washed off to emphasize the cracks and marks on the surface