Selected comments

RCC photos studio (5)‘Very good show – the collaboration between the two of you is exquisite…walking into the studio is invigorating’. Waltraud Boxall.

‘Great to be able to talk to the artists – love seeing all of the different work’.  Beca Jones

RCC photos outside (2)



‘Fabulous venue, really interesting and thought provoking’.  Wanda and David Garner

Really good idea – gives public opportunity to see how art is done…’ Maria Newcombe

RCC photos studio (6)‘Wonderful  idea to explore new ideas and share skills’. Carrie Lynam Crafts Council Ireland

‘Great to have HG at Ruthin Craft Centre‘, Maria Hayes

‘Really interesting collaboration.’  Wendy Proctor


RCC photos studio (2)
‘Fantastic opportunity for the artists to get their work seen and for the public to meet the person behind the art work.’ Joan Newcombe

‘High standard of work from dedicated artists‘ Julia Smutt




Helfa Gelf and Ruthin Craft Centre Collaboration

We have had a great  time here in Studio 5 for this Residency, and the opportunity it gave to interact and engage with the public. Their delight in the Cyanotype process and interest in the ceramic results from both of us has been a great feature of this Residency.

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216 people visited the studio over the  Helfa Gelf Weekends – over 100 people  each weekend.  The Studio was open throughout the week as well, so the final total would be even higher.


shed view


We got to know the Courtyard well – a real suntrap on this side – and a lovely place to wander, sit and explore – it’s a welcoming entrance to the Galleries and Exhibitions beyond.  A number of people were new to Ruthin Craft Centre and to the idea of visiting a gallery. Seeing us outside exploring a process with such immediate results that was so accessible on a starter level, encouraged folk to pause, go into the studio to look at the work and even create a Cyanotype.

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There were positive comments on the collaboration, and on seeing Helfa Gelf in Ruthin Craft Centre.

We found the opportunity for conversation and engagement enabled us to review our own work



Sue King

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Sian Hughes

A strong outcome is the realization that we want to continue this collaborative exploration of Ceramic and Cyanotype.

Many thanks to all concerned: Ruthin Craft Centre and Philip Hughes for hosting this; Sioned Phillips for all her support; Helfa Gelf for the Residency opportunity.

Ceramic puzzles

We continue to be puzzled by the reactions – or lack of reactions – of the two clays I recently bought. I started the project using clay that Sue kindly gave me to get me going, which took the solution on both semi-glazed and plain ware. I also rinsed where Sue did not – but the results for both of us were by and large successful.

This was a piece I rolled very thinly….
blog 7Here, semi -glaze in progress from a shell form series I was exploring…the result was fine with clearly defined solution in the glaze cracks….


Emboldened by my kiln firing and clay preparation I then ordered my own clay which has either not taken the solution at all -or very reluctantly with a matt finish, different and  still attractive

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Sue and I have been mulling this over with each other and with any ceramicists that pop in! The firing does not seem to be the problem, but it’s possible I bought earthenware rather than stoneware …..but I have yet to track this down further.

Bone Clay

Great break through came when Sue supported me in firing pieces in a kiln I had been loaned and had been too nervous to use up to now.  I used small fragments to explore the firing and loved the outcome.

I impressed the clay into the interstices of broken sunbleached bone and barnacle encrusted razor clams.


When fired, these came out as bleached and bone-like as the objects I had used. Laid on grey slate they look fragile, yet are robust enough to handle and re-arrange as the mood takes.