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Helen & the critters are off developing new work. The shop will re-open on Tuesday 23 April 2019. UK postage £2.95. Free shipping on UK orders over £25 Read More

Projects

Bee in the City

In 2018 I was honoured to be involved in the Manchester Bee in the City trail. The event was rushed through at light speed following the bombing of the Manchester Arena and at the end of the event, when the bee designs were auctioned off, the project raised over £1 million for Manchester charities. It was totally humbling to be involved in a project that meant so much to so many people. At the farewell event I was overwhelmed by the number of people that came out in really terrible weather to say goodbye to the sculptures. Brian, as I nicknamed mine, is now happily living in the Peak District

A City Transformed, a.k.a Brian, was inspired by Bumblebee from the Transformers and raised over £10,000 at auction. Massive thanks to Madeline Chia for the image

 

A City Transformed was sponsored by the Great Northern Warehouse (thank you!). This image is by the very talented Jonny Bentley who documented all the bees in their Manchester locations

Kingfisher Ball

At the end of 2013 I was contacted by one of my customers about the possibility of donating a piece of work for a charity event called the Kingfisher Ball. The Kingfisher Ball takes place at the Kingfisher School in Oldham, a venue for children with special educational needs. I was happy to say yes and decided that some Pirate Penguins (an idea at the time that was just hatching) would be the focus of my donation. A few weeks later I was asked if I would consider making gifts for the event’s special guests with the brief simply being to produce something kingfisher related. I got going on some illustrations for kingfisher tableware and on Thursday 20 April 2014 my lovely dad delivered the pieces to the school ready for the big event taking place on the Saturday 22. It was a real joy to be involved, I am grateful to Michael and Terri Guest for thinking of me and getting me involved and it was wonderful to get a surprise thank you from the evening’s special guests

John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds Wood with my kingfisher gifts. A lovely surprise!

John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds Wood with my kingfisher gifts. A lovely surprise!

A little Burdy told me….

A special commission that I did for Mother’s Day. I was given a list of things that my customer’s mum enjoyed and was given free reign to do what I wanted with the information. I came up with a story board idea based on the daughter’s nickname of Burdy. It is wonderful creating such bespoke pieces. I loved doing it and feel very honoured to have been given the opportunity to create something special for such a lovely family. Since this commission I’ve had the privilage of doing a few other storyboard commissions. Some in special wooden frame and some in a standard box frame.

Wooden storyboard artwork

Wooden storyboard artwork. It was wonderful creating such bespoke pieces

 

Garden of Egan

Garden of Egan was a commission for a primary school in Manchester. The school had recently lost a member of staff and this was to be a memorial sculpture that celebrated everything she loved – predominantly gardening and dancing. The school had already turned the site into a working allotment with raised flower beds and fruit and vegetable patches. I created five flower stalks with ceramic flower heads mounted on steel stems. They needed to be tall so that they could be seen above the raised beds and I wanted them to move slightly when the wind blew to represent dance. It was a very special project for a lady that was very special to so many people.

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Porcelain seed head sculpture for The Garden of Egan

Sheep Street (aka Woolly)

Sheep Street (or Woolly as he was called at home) was created as part of the Flock to Skipton town trail project that took place between August and December 2010. He was a five foot fibreglass creature and created quite a stir during his journeys in the back of my car! Woolly was located on Sheep Street (note that clever and inspirational naming??) just outside Costa Coffee. Over the months he sat there he was given lots and lots of hugs and when he came up for auction in August 2011, at the end of the project, he made over £500 which was amazing considering the bumps and bangs he had received. A great project that increased footfall round the beautiful Yorkshire town.

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Woolly went to sit outside Costa Coffee at Skipton and now lives on a farm somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales