Friday, 25 November 2011

Folksy shop

I've updated my folksy shop and these pieces are now available as limited edition prints.

Working weekend

I've been down to the studio at the bottom of the garden to put the heating on. It's the first morning that I've really felt the chill in the air.  It's a peaceful space despite all the mess! I'm preparing myself for a busy few days as I finish getting everything ready for my exhibition, 'Patterned Presence' at Sock Gallery, Loughborough.  We set up on Tuesday, ready for the opening on Wednesday.

I'd like to say that I am calm, but I am not!  I have framing to finish, prints to mount and wrap.  I need to check the inventory, and I still have pieces to stitch and my 'Wow' piece to start and finish!  Now there's an admission!  Still, if it doesn't work out, maybe no one need ever know......

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Sunday at the Holmfirth Art Market was bustling with people enthusiastic about buying work and enjoying the creative buzz. My new print range was well received and cards and ceramics sold well.  The very talented ceramicist Karen Howarth, won best stall and with her winnings she bought the piece above, 'Hamlet'.  It's a part of the Yorkshire series that I have been working on and I'm very happy that it will live in Yorkshire.

I had a lot of interest in my workshops, and for those of you who were asking, all the details are now on my website.

Yesterday I was exhausted!  But the enthusiastic response I had to my work is all I need to get me through the last stages of preparations for my exhibition at Sock, Loughborough.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Simple pleasures

I'm hanging on to Autumn as Winter creeps in.  It gave me great pleasure today to treat myself to a beautiful bunch of dahlias.  What simple pleasure will cheer up your Friday?

Have a lovely weekend.  Hope to see you at the Holmfirth Art Market on Sunday.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

New work


'home' detail

'love' detail


I have just put these into my folksy shop.  They are a limited edition print (a run of 250), that I have stitched onto, making each unique.  The print quality is amazing and captures all the detail of the original collage with a 12 colour print process onto textured German paper.  They each measure 29 x 29 cm and come in a 50 x 50 cm mount ready for framing.  Perfect for all you lovebirds and home makers!

Getting Ready

I'm getting ready for Holmfirth Art Market on Sunday. Just stitched a batch of business cards. Waiting in for Christmas cards to arrive from the printers. Ceramics in the kiln. Logo being printed onto cloth for my stand. Everything coming together nicely.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Autumn Colour

It's so dark!  I'm stitching work for my exhibition and can barely see!  So grey.  Cheered up by this picture from the Anthropologie catalogue.  Lovely rich colour.  Have been getting out the quilts and blankets and cosying up.  I love the painted bowls here.  Makes me want to splash some colour about.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Mark Hearld

In my mind, Mark Hearld can do no wrong.  I love this film where he talks about his work.

Friday, 4 November 2011

My Essential Kit

The lovely Emily at Folksy has featured me this week for the My Essential Kit feature.  Have a look!

Helen Hallows creates original artwork using ink, collage and stitch, “I aim to capture fleeting moments that catch my eye”. Helens collection includes artwork, coasters, bunting, greetings cards, and porcelain homewares. With such a range of products what on earth is in her essential tool kit?
1. Stretching tape. I work on watercolour or pastel papers with ink washes so I always use stretching tape to keep the paper flat.
Inks. I love the little bottles of pure colour lined up in my studio. They give an intense, permanent colour.
2. I apply the inks with a brush or Chinese calligraphy bamboo pen.
3. I collect vintage papers: old book pages, endpapers and book jackets, sheet music, vintage wrapping paper and wallpaper. I supplement these with book binding papers, scrapbooking papers and paper that I’ve painted or drawn on myself.
4. My trusty Elna sewing machine. Called a ‘Quilter’s Dream’ it suffers me forcing it to sew through paper and stitch freely. I’ve had it for fifteen years and it’s never caused me any trouble. (Of course, I’ve just given it the kiss of death!)
5. Cottons. Something else for me to search out when I’m in junk shops and at carboot sales. I have hundreds of them and love the gradations of hue and shade. I have them in an old set of tool drawers with a drawer for each colour.
My letterpress H stamp. I finish each piece with my makers’ mark, a HH stamped with this letterpress letter. I have only one and it sometimes goes astray which fills me with panic.
6. My ‘Helen Hallows’ stamp. This features on the back of all my original artworks and as a transfer onto the bottom of my ceramics. I stamp my bags with it at fairs, and it’s on my blog, website, business card and all correspondence. I’m even thinking of getting it tattooed!!
You can have a right old nosey around Helens Folksy shop here Helen Hallows. She is also exhibiting at The Sock Galleryin Loughborough from 30th November – 15th January 2012.
If you have an essential crafting kit you’d like to share please send it
Kit photograph ©Lyndsey James Photography 2011.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Grayson Perry

If you missed 'Imagine' earlier this week and its exploration of Grayson Perry's work and creative process and inspirations, you can watch it again here.  Really inspiring.

Leek College

I've been meaning to post some images of Leek College.  I had the pleasure of running a one day workshop with the students on the foundation degree there at the end of September.  It was a productive and enjoyable day.  Not least because of the amazing building in which the college is housed.  The Nicholson Institute was built by the silk mill owner in  the town as a college in which to train his workers.  The wonderful art rooms were used to train the workers for the town's textile mills.  There was a real sense of purpose to the building and the air was heavy with the ghosts of past students, not least the very real skeleton that hung in the corner closet (yes really!).  The 'life drawing' room houses some beautiful plasters from which students past and present can draw.  The Arts and Crafts fabric of the building included a hand painted quote from the dramatist, scientist poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

'One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable worlds.'

The whole building would make a delightful museum but makes an even more delightful, alive space in which to create.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Anyone whose work combines trees and cups goes straight to the top of my covet-list.  So I eagerly await the next edition of Selvedge magazine and its feature on the beautiful work of Anne Smith.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Blog posts are like buses....none for ages then three at once!


Life has loomed large these last few weeks and I've had to run at it and meet it head on.  Of course that meant I ended up ill!  Half term arrived more quickly than expected, and a realisation that my exhibition at the Sock Gallery is just around the corner.  I've been a bit like a rabbit in the headlights but I've managed to pull myself together.

Here's a Christmas card design I've just finished.  I just hope it arrives back from the printers before I head off to the Holmfirth Art Market on November 13th.

Carnival of Monsters

At the start of half term we visited the wonderful 'Carnival of Monsters' exhibition held at the Barton bus station at Beeston.  There was some really dynamic, well crafted art exhibited in a great urban venue.  The building interacted with the art and the juxtapositions of the functional and historical against the art works intrigued me as much as the works themselves.  Light worked its way through decayed parts of the building casting dynamic shadows.  My annual autumnal obsession with the circle has reared its head again...why is that?  I think it's because the moon becomes more visible again.  Anyway, circle motifs abounded.

'Life'  Richard Stephens

'Cathedral-Northern Transept' Mark Chapman

Frank Kent

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