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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

HELEN GILMOUR, ceramic artist


HER teapots look good enough to cuddle ... as do her adorable mini sweaters and tactile-looking bowls. If anyone was to try, though, they'd get a nasty shock.
"They're very fragile," says Helen Gilmour, as she proudly surveys the shelves weighed down by the fruitful outcome of four years' imaginative graft.
"They're nice to look at but they're totally dysfunctional - you can't use them for tea."
Helen Gilmour has devised a novel method of turning knitted items into ceramics by dipping them in clay or porcelain and firing them.
The end result is a delicate woven structure where the wool, gaps, zips, bottoms and spouts are all finely moulded into shape.
The overall effect is stunning and is already winning admiring glances from Helen's tutors and the students who share the same Hill Street studio space.
As one of the more mature students, Helen came to art school having taken evening classes at Garnock Valley Arts Resource Centre in Ayrshire followed by an HNC in Ceramics at Cardonald College.
"I'd always wanted to go to art school but I'd never got round to doing it," says Helen, 53, from Kilbirnie whose two sons, aged 18 and 24, will proudly see their mum's handiwork at the degree show.
"I was so pleased to be accepted. The main reason that I came was to learn and I think I've done that."
After graduation is over Helen hopes to continue making her ceramics. Does this mean that she'll set up her own brand?
"I don't think so," she laughs. "I don't think I'll go into mass production!"

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