Helen Marton

Job title
Senior Lecturer
Email
helen.marton@falmouth.ac.uk
Telephone
01326 370484

Helen Marton is a contemporary craft practitioner specialising in hand built ceramics. Besides her teaching at Falmouth University, she has been a practising maker for 15 years, exhibiting nationally and internationally. She has work in permanent collection at the Hungarian Museum of Contemporary Ceramics, The National Porcelain Museum and also The Art Academy, Latvia and Yorkshire Craft Centre. 

In her role as senior lecturer, Helen is Level 1 coordinator and personal tutor; she delivers foundations for learning and teaches across all 3 years. Helen currently implements and is responsible for the on-going development of crafts specific professional practice, delivered primarily in level 2 and 3.

Throughout history and from one culture to another, the use and ownership of specific materials made into objects has indicated power, status, wealth, gender and is the foundation of economy. Each material resonates, speaks, holds meaning and significance. Helen's practice based and pedagogic research highlights material resonance in the production of art and craft, referring to site, history and culture. 

Helen's private passion is scuba diving, she loves to be in the blue silence supported and surrounded by ocean. As an advanced diver qualified to reach depths of 30+metres, she has experienced some unforgettably euphoric moments in the silent company of some of the great pelagic inhabitants such as shark, giant Manta and the miniature Pigmy Seahorse, barely bigger than a grain of rice.

Qualifications

YearQualificationAwarding body
1997
BA (Hons) Ceramics
Plymouth University
2011
PGDipHE
University College Falmouth
2013
MAEd
Falmouth University

Membership of external committees

NACHE, National Association for Ceramics in Higher Education.
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Association Member
Trustee and selection panel member, Cornwall Crafts Association
The Arts & Education Department of Tate

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

Helen manifests works driven from investigations into fundamental drives and needs. Archaeology and anthropology when relating to crafts often map cultural attitudes towards protection, consumption, reproduction and systems of belief. Her work focuses particularly upon borrowing and abstracting meaning and significance from both domestic and ritual objects in order to create powerful contemporary cultural indicators, future relics, and significators. 

Helen Marton is one of a group of artists who have been working on the 18-month Maker Engagement Project since May 2012. During this time she has visited project partners at excavations in Szazhalombatta, Hungary, explored collections at the National Museet in Denmark, and accompanied archaeologists on visits to Bronze Age collections and monuments across the UK, including the Wiltshire Museum and Stonehenge. Helen has contributed to knowledge exchange between archaeologists and contemporary craftspeople, using practice-based research to provide insights into the tools, processes and the inherent creativity in Bronze Age ceramics.  Her research includes an investigation into the use of Gabbroic clay (a type of clay found on the Lizard peninsula) in contemporary ceramic work, including observation of and practical engagement with the material, location and environment. As one of several practitioners involved in CinBA, Helen has forged lasting links with researchers and craftspeople across Europe. There is continuing collaboration and development of research activity in this field.

Her interdisciplinary engagement with the humanities has fuelled continued pedagogic research, which now examines resonance as an aspect invested in every material/artefact. It has become clear that in her own teaching of craft process and the creative cycle, this notion can underline resonance as a pedagogic threshold concept, investigating the idea that learning and creativity go beyond any reductive notion of a qualification. 

In exploring interdisciplinary integration she chooses to focus upon process and the reflective cycle, being a common concern within arts and humanities. In addition to acknowledging material resonance, Helen aims to highlight the importance of teaching contextualisation in craft through investigation of cultural and historical engagement.

Helen has written a series of papers documenting her research findings, including 'The Resonance of Gabbroic Clay in Contemporary Ceramic Works', which she presented at conference at Southampton University.  She also delivered a paper entitled 'Resonant Objects: Inextricable and Inevitable' at conference at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and contributed to the supporting publication of essays. 

Research centre and group affiliations

Material & Visual Culture

Research topics

Education
Ceramics
Digital Craftsmanship
Craft/crafting

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs

Artwork

Marton, Helen (2012) Creativity in the Bronze Age: A Response, The Makers Engagement Project. [Artwork]
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Marton, Helen (2011) ‘The Stubborn Tapir.’ : Dialogue with Tapir/International Engagement Project. [Artwork]

Exhibition

Matthias, Gayle, English, Claire and Bunnell, Katie (2014) All Makers Now? pop up exhibition supporting the conference. [Exhibition]
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Marton, Helen (2012) Exhibit of small porcelain form. [Exhibition] Item not available from this repository.

Events

YearDescription
2012

Delivered paper: New Light on Archaeological Ceramics The conference is held in recognition of contributions to archaeological artefact studies by Emeritus Professor David P.S. Peacock. It is hosted by the Ceramics Research Group of the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, UK, 19 - 21 October

2012

Exhibition of Small Porcelain Forms - Riga National Porcelain Museum, Latvia, 14 November

2013

Exhibition of Ceramic works - Tapirs from Latvia - Terres d'Aligre, Paris, 28 March

2013

Exhibition of Works: Creativity in the Bronze Age: A Response: Museum of Anthropology & Archaeology, Cambridge University, 2 April - 30 June

2013

Delivered paper: Resonant Objects: Inextricable and Inevitable at conference at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Creativity: An Exploration Through the Bronze Age and Contemporary Responses to the Bronze Age, 10 - 11 April

2013

Exhibition of Works: Creativity in the Bronze Age: A Response: Devises Heritage Museum, July - October

2013

Cornwall Crafts Association Lecture ‘An Exploration Through the Bronze Age & Contemporary Responses to the Bronze Age’ 14 September

2015

Exhibition of Works: Creativity in the Bronze Age: Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Devon Guild of Craftsmen is an acclaimed exhibition space for contemporary craft and design as well as a leading charity for craft education

Teaching

Areas of teaching

Ceramics
Contemporary Craft
Professional Practice
Foundations for Learning
Drawing

Courses taught

Contemporary Crafts

Policy engagement within Cornwall

Board member and trustee - Cornwall Crafts Association based in Cornwall - Trelissick & Trellowaren.

Professional engagement