Helen has drawn inspiration from a variety of areas, initially from her travels in Southwestern United States. Inspired by the breathtaking landscapes, particularly drawn to the rock formations of Arizona and Utah, and intrigued by the Pueblo Potteries of New Mexico, and she was especially taken by the shapes and designs produced by Martina Martinez and her descendants.
"I wanted to capture the quality of their style, handmade pieces giving the impression of something quite precious but without being highly glazed."
After the birth of her children Helen’s work has become more figurative as the relationships between them developed. Being a parent of identical twins she became interested in the shape and structures of the various DNA strands, and watching them grow and become two different people, notions of nature over nurture are fascinating.
She wanted to bring this across in her most recent work as all of the pieces evolve from the same beginnings, but take on very different forms during the making process – culminating in the Raku firing which adds the definitive touch of individuality.
Work generally available from:
Singing Soul Gallery, Cranbrook
Celcilia Coleman, St Johns Wood.
All Helen’s work is handbuilt by coiling and pinching, she lightly burnishes and adds a textural pattern to some areas.
Earthstone smooth clay is used and is bisque fired in a electric kiln, the pieces are then covered in a resist slip and a crackle glaze and fired in a ‘Top Hat’ Raku kiln.
The pieces are taken out of the kiln while still hot and placed in a metal bin with sawdust and paper and smoked for half an hour.
After firing the glaze falls off the pieces to reveal the smoked patterns underneath. The pieces are then cleaned and waxed to protect the unglazed surface.
Helen Rondell graduated from Staffordshire University in 1995 with a BA (Hons) in ceramics.
Shortly afterwards she set up a studio in her hometown of Nottingham and successfully sold pieces through a number of local galleries and craft centres.
She relocated to Southwest London in early 1997 and sold work through a healthy number of outlets all over the United Kingdom in addition to ceramic, craft and trade fairs.
Helen’s work is held in private collections in the USA, Canada, China and all over Europe.
She currently lives in West Kent with her husband, son and twin daughters
Professional Member of the Craft Potters Association
2013 Selection of pieces linked to Ice Age Exhibition, Grenville Room, British Museum
2011 Christmas Group Exhibition, Smith’s Row, Bury St Edmonds
2010 Selected Art Exhibition, The Futures Gallery, London W1
2007 The Craft Centre & Design Gallery, Leeds
2006 Christmas Exhibition - Bettles Gallery, Ringwood, Hampshire
2006 London Potters 20th Anniversary Open Exhibition, Morley Gallery, London
2005 Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne – Exhibition
2005 Apple Gallery, Surrey
2004 Open London Potters exhibition at The Morley Gallery, London
2004 ‘EMPTY’ - An Tuireann Arts Centre, Portree, Isle of Skye
2004 ‘London Potters Selected’ - Brian Starkey Gallery, Sutton
2004 Solo Exhibition - Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow
2004 Guest Potter at POTTERS, Bristol
2003 Open London Potters exhibition at The Morley Gallery, London
2002 Open London Potters exhibition at The Morley Gallery, London
2002 ‘Back to the Rock’ (London Potters Selected) Wellbeloved Gallery, Portland, Dorset
2002 Summer Exhibition at Dovedale Studios, Faversham, Kent
2002 Group Exhibition at The Bank Gallery, Chobham, Surrey
2001 'London Potters Selected' Artmonsky Gallery, St John's Wood, London
1997 ‘Seven Potters in Kent’ Art Gallery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
1996 ‘One of Those’ An Artist Showcase at Nottingham Castle Museum.
1995 Christmas Exhibition. Pam Schomberg Gallery, Colchester, Essex.
1995 ‘Family Connections’ Rainbows End Gallery, Buxton, Derbys.
1995 ‘New Designers ‘95’ The Business Design Centre, Islington.
Ceramics in the City, Geffrye Museum – 2005 – 2007, 2010, 2012
Potfest South West - 2004
‘Art in Clay’ (National Pottery and Ceramics Festival) - Hatfield House, Herts – 2002 - 2013
Potfest in the Park, Penrith – 2004 - 2007
Ceramics South East, Aylesford Kent – 2005 - 2010
Potfest Peak, Bakewell, Derbys – 2005 - 2006
Potfest Scotland, Perth – 2004 - 2007
Clay Art, Denbigh, Wales – 2004
International Pottery & Ceramics Festival - St. Albans, Hertfordshire 2005
Craft in Focus, Sevenoaks – 2009 – 2012
Craft in Focus, RHS Wisley – 2010 – 2012
Craft in Focus, Canterbury – 2010 - 2012
British Craft Trade Fair, Harrogate – 2005 - 2006
Design Edge, Sandown Park, Surrey - 2006