Helen Beard’s distinctive pieces begin with drawings of quirky individuals and curious places, which she uses to illustrate her hand-thrown pots. By grouping the pots together, she likes to tell a story, creating whimsical scenes that capture the insignificant yet precious moments that make up our daily lives.
For Helen’s ‘bespoke’ collection every pot is individually thrown in Limoges porcelain on a potter’s wheel before being hand-painted. The pots are decorated using a technique that Helen developed to create an effect similar to watercolour and ink. Her freehand line drawing is transferred onto the pot using a form of relief print. Colour is painted over the drawing using different washes of ceramic stain, and finally the pots are dip-glazed and smoothed down ready for the final stage of firing. Each is unique – a work of art, but also a functional piece of domestic ware.
The ‘Dailyware’ pots are slip-cast in a Staffordshire porcelain from moulds of Helen’s wheel thrown forms. They are then bisque-fired, glazed and glaze-fired before being decorated with special lithographically printed ceramic decals of my artwork. A third and final firing melts the artwork into the glaze, so that it is tough enough for dishwashers, microwaves and everyday use.