Helen Perrett was born in London but raised in Wellington. Studying art at high school was her first experience of clay but she went academic and studied Art history/English Literature at Auckland University followed by an extended OE in London. It was only after studying Garden Design (another passion), and having her third daughter go to school, that Helen was able to follow up that background itch to touch clay again, although being creative had never been far away with a small business selling handmade paper and painted papier mâché bowls and mer-creatures at Titirangi Market.
“I enjoy finding a theme to explore or weaving a narrative into a piece as I make it. Much of my work has been me working through stories and images that intrigued me - the Terracotta Army - my version are NZ pests (possums, ferrets, rats, rabbits and boars) and I have done a long series of boats bringing things to NZ including the pests but also sheep, furniture, pine trees and people. Other inspirations include history, literature and myths.”
Helen Perrett’s work is mainly hand built and fired in an electric kiln using layers of slips, underglazes, oxides and stains to create a surface suggestive of age.
Helen credits her love of children’s book illustration as one of her major influences. As well as working in her home-based studio amongst her dogs, cat and chickens Helen Perrett teaches at Auckland Studio Potters and The Clay Centre.
Helen Perrett has a Diploma of Ceramics Arts (Otago Polytechnic) and has won several awards. Her work is in the Wallace Art Trust Collection and other private collections in the USA, Germany, UK, Australia and China.