Q&A with Derry glass artist Helen Hancock

Q. Could you introduce yourself please, and tell us a little bit about yourself?
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I’m Helen Hancock, a glass artist, breastfeeding counsellor and birth doula from Prehen.

I create blown glass at my home studio, specialising in infusing ashes, breastmilk and other DNA as well as creating hand blown colourful glass baubles and glassware.

Q. When did you realise that you wanted to be an artist?

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I have always known I wanted to be an artist since I was very young. My sister is also an artist and I think it’s just in our blood.

Q. Who are your main influences in life?

My main influences aren’t really artists but people who offer selfless support and kindness to those in need.

My work is very much about offering some comfort after trauma.

Q. Where is the best place to go if you are an aspiring artist in Derry?

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I honestly don’t know where you would go if you are an aspiring artist in Derry.

Derry people are a very unique and creative bunch. Just look at the work that goes into the Hallowe’en costumes each year.

We have a rich culture of creativity here and incredible landscapes and people to inspire us. I would love to see a central Hub for Traditional Arts, Glassblowing, Bronze Casting, Weaving, Ceramics.

Pratt Fine Art Centre in Seattle offers these within the community. That is what I’d love to see here.

Q. Do you believe Derry needs to do more for the arts?

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I believe Derry people are crying out for a great Creative Centre.

Q. What got you through Lockdown?

I set up my glass studio (Hotshop) during lockdown and became very busy very fast.

Q. What advice would you give to any artists out there?

I advise any aspiring artists out there not to feel intimidated by what they feel is beyond their scope.

If you love what you do your passion will shine through and people respond so positively to that.

Q. Have you got any plans or projects for the future?

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I am beginning to work on a large glass piece to exhibit in Naples for Women’s Day in March.

I’m also excited to host my first run of classes in glassblowing in my studio.

Plus, this time of year means I will be making many baubles and tumblers through my website that I will send all over the world.

Q. Have you got a motto or proverb in life?

What’s the Worst that could happen?

*If you would like to purchase any of Helen’s artwork or for more information, please visit her website at www.helenhancockglass.com.

You can also follow her on Facebook or contact by email: [email protected].

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