Illumination is the use of gold, or other metal, in leaf or powder form. Helen often incorporates tiny jewels such as amethysts, sapphires, pearls and garnets to add a medieval richness to her work, which is usually on Kelmscott vellum.
Helen usually works on a small scale and is inspired by the beauty and inventiveness of medieval design, which also includes symbolism in the forms used. The principles and practice of geometry are an important part of Helen's work. Medieval craftsmen saw geometry as a reflection of the beauty of Divine order in Creation. Indeed, geometry underpins creation from the tiniest flower to the movement of the planets. The patterns of traditional art reflect nature and are underpinned by the same geometry that is the basis of the natural world.
Helen studied for a Masters Degree in Traditional Arts at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, where she teaches Illumination.