Hellen Millard Cameo Glass specialises in the finest Cameo art glass depicting the beauty of nature. Helen completed her degree in glass at West Surrey College of Art and Design in 1989. She had a long enjoyable apprenticeship at The Glass House, Covent Garden and later Islington London between 1990 and 1998. There she was fortunate to be trained by Ronnie Wilkinson who had been the chief glass maker for the Whitefriars factory in London.
She became a senior assistant and a production glass maker to Annette Meech, Christopher Williams, David Taylor and Fleur Tookey. During this period, she was developing her own range of vibrant coloured tableware as well as her engraving skills, producing a wide range of ‘Graal’ and multi coloured surface-engraved vessels depicting her enchantment with tropical birds, exotic plants and animals.
From 1999-2005 Helen was lecturer at The International Glass Centre, Brierley Hill, Dudley College, teaching both cold decoration and hot glass techniques. It was during this period that she came to admire the Cameo glass on display at The Broadfield House Glass Museum and realized the strong links of the early Cameo Glass artists to her own work.
Helen has now become one of the finest Cameo glass engravers in the world. As well as her the ability to emulate the early Cameo artists she has produced her own style of Cameo Art Glass using stunning colour combinations to depict her long fascination with and passion for nature.
Commissions depicting ideas from the customer with perhaps a image or colourway that they have in mind. It could be a favourite Bird, Animal or Scene.
Based in the Beautiful Village location of Abbotsbury where 3 years ago Helen opened up a gallery where alongside her work she also has a small selection of other Glass artists, pictures and cards.
Helen also shows a range of Stemware, glass flowers and small glass gifts which are always available in her gallery.
Helen blows her own multi-layered blanks and then engraves them, thereby having complete control over the entire process. This is highly unusual, and demonstrates the breadth of her skill. Having moved to Dorset in 2005, Helen has been inspired by the surrounding coast and countryside to create a series of estuary pieces depicting her continued love of birds in their natural habitat. Helen has contributed greatly to pioneering contemporary glass and has taught at The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, New York State, demonstrating cameo techniques to a new generation of glass artists.
The Woodall Vases – Recreated by Helen Millard
After a long period of decline, Cameo glass was revived in the nineteenth-century through the skill and dedication of two men, Philip Pargeter who used his Red House glassworks to produce the necessary glass blanks and John Northwood who developed the art of carving away the unwanted glass layers to produce the images on the layers of glass.
Two of his apprentices were brothers Thomas (1849 – 1926) and George Woodall. After schooling Thomas became an apprentice at J & J Northwood. John Northwood used him to work on the preparatory stages of the Portland Vase, which remained Woodall‟s proudest accomplishment.
In 1877 Thomas was employed by Thomas Webb & Sons where he later became Manager of their cameo operations. In 2018 descendants of Thomas Woodall discovered previously unknown drawings by him of two beautiful vases which had never been made. These were shown on BBC Antiques Roadshow in May 2018 when the Show visited the Black Country Living Museum. Subsequent to the programme, the family commissioned Helen Millard to actually make these two magnificent cameo glasses and they have now been completed.
The Old Chapel Gallery, Back Street, Abbotsbury, Weymouth DT34JP
Telephone: 07597 338953