• Fair Trader

Helaina Sharpley – Artist Blog

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

We are very excited to introduce you to Helaina Sharpley, one of the artists who will be showcasing their work at featured@ fair trader for the next few months.

I have always been 'arty', as this was always encouraged growing up, with both parents being creative and practical (and both teachers!) Having been described as 'crafty' during my art foundation at Batley School of Art, I decided to go to Hereford to study Design Crafts. This was a brilliant concept-led course, where we all started with our own passion/interest as a theme, and then we explored this through materials. I drink a lot of tea, and so that was my inspiration! Silly and poignant questions from Ed the course leader, and lots of researching, led me to realise I loved the elegance of days gone by and the etiquette of taking tea.

I began doing pen and ink drawings of Victorian architecture and chintzy China tea sets. My tutor saw these drawings and gave me some wire, jokingly threatening that if I didn't start making something he'd transfer me to the illustration course! That was 18 years ago.

I hand-manipulate all the wire, using different gauges to add depth and detail. Tea cups and Victorian architecture are still a big part of my work, but more recently I've become inspired by the far-reaching views of the countryside and British wildflowers.

I feel that shopping locally, supporting small businesses and local makers, is very important – now more than ever – to keep our communities and high streets vibrant but also to know who has made the things you buy. Fair Trader promotes and supports these values, which is wonderful.

Helaina Sharpley, November 2021


You can see a selection of Helaina's work in the top room at Fair Trader over November and December.

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