Hey! I'm Helen...

... and I am the owner of The Painted Dragonfly. I run my business from the home I share with my husband and son, just outside of Winchester, Hampshire. I’ve always been creative and I love painting, sketching and crocheting too.

I spent the first 20+ years of my working life as a civil engineer, a career I loved, but that changed after having my son. I knew I wanted to be able to work from home, around the needs of my family and doing something that gave me the same enjoyment as I used to get from engineering.

My inspiration came when, late one afternoon, I received a call from my son’s nursery. It was about a month before Christmas and they told me that the mugs I had ordered with his handprints on would not be available until after Christmas. This was not much use!

To get replacements on time, I would now have to make the journey (twice) to the nearest pottery café to paint and then collect the fired mugs. The two 30-mile round trips didn’t bother me (I love driving!) but I always felt on edge, wondering what untold damage a lively two-year-old could cause to neatly stacked plates, dishes and ornaments, etc. He also had an uncanny knack of performing a poo-nami when we were there, meaning we had to pack up everything to go to the adjoining building to clean up.

It was on that phone call that I realised this must be the same for other mums - ‘there has to be another way… I could do this mobile…’

And so, in a nutshell, that’s it… I deliver Pottery Boxes that contain everything you need to paint beautiful pieces of pottery in the comfort of your own home, at a time and pace that suits you and your family. I do the rest… I deliver, collect, glaze and fire, before returning your bespoke, useable, fired pottery directly back to you.

I also provide you with the tools and guidance to help you to create beautiful items with simple techniques – all you need to add is water.

I get such a buzz from seeing pieces both before and after firing. I can feel the energy, love and effort that my customers have put into them. The joy on their faces when I return their pottery is priceless.

There is a Winston Churchill quote that goes ‘if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’ and this is wholeheartedly how I feel about The Painted Dragonfly.

I’d love to help you to unleash your own creativity and have fun creating something that you will treasure for years to come.

This is Kolin...

... the Kiln. He does the heavy lifting in our relationship.

He is a 'Studio 1 *HOT*' and can fire to almost 1300°C, although the hottest I've fired pottery in him is 1060°C. With a chamber that can accommodate standard side plates next to each other, it took three of us to lift him off the pallet when he arrived.

It takes about 8.5 hours to get to the standard firing temperature of 998°C, and then about 12 hours to cool down enough for the pottery to be handled.

Kolin even has his own Instagram hashtag... #kolinthekiln


Meet Kaye-Dub...

... the newest member of The Painted Dragonfly team.

Kaye-Dub is a Corsa-van and be sure to photograph her if you spot her out and about, it'll earn you a 10% discount, if you post the picture on social media and tag The Painted Drangonfly.