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Bobbing and weaving in Milford with textile artist Helena Greig - Surrey Creations

PUBLISHED: 10:05 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:05 01 December 2016

Helena weaving away on her loom

Helena weaving away on her loom

Philip Traill

Being a textile artist can be a sizeable commitment – it will take more than your average-sized garden shed to house a loom, for instance. Here, we meet the talented weaver, Helena Greig, whose workshop is found at the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen shop at Milford

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2016

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A co-operative group of professional craftsmen and designer/makers chosen for their fine craftsmanship and innovative design, the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen was formed more than 30 years ago. Today, if you head down to the village of Milford, you’ll come across their Surrey Guild Craft Gallery and it is here you might find this month’s Surrey Creations protagonist weaving away on her loom.

Helena Greig is a textile artist who, like so many of the people we feature in the pages of Surrey Life, was heading on a completely different path before a fascination with weaving led to evening classes and eventually a whole new life.

“While working for the Inland Revenue I was taught to spin by my aunt, who had learnt it when she moved near Dartington in Devon,” says Helena.

“I enjoyed it so much that I then enrolled on a weaving evening class in Surbiton to use up all my hand-spun wool. Having realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life, I joined the textile course at the then Farnham School of Art, which is now the University for the Creative Arts.”

Needless to say, she hasn’t looked back since, and now her unique combinations of colours and textures really set her work apart. However, the life of designing and making can be quite isolating, and it’s the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen’s collective, family-like quality that most appealed to Helena.

“The friendship and support of fellow makers is so important, as well as being able to show our work in the co-operatively run gallery,” she says. “The help, support and critical evaluation of fellow craftspeople is always valuable.”

While you’ll mostly find Helena’s work at the Milford gallery, you may have seen her pieces at events such as Farnham Maltings’ Festival of Crafts in October and she will also be at the Hampton Estate’s Christmas Fair in Seale on Friday November 25.

• For more information about Helena Greig’s work, visit the Surrey Guild Craft Gallery, 1 Moushill Lane, Milford GU8 5BH or see surreyguildofcraftsmen.co.uk

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sAVE THE DATE!

Eagerly awaited each year, the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen’s free Christmas show in the Garden Room at Guildford House Gallery, 155 High Street, Guildford GU1 3AJ has become a regular on local residents’ festive shopping calendars. This year, the event takes place from Saturday December 10 to Saturday December 24.

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The low-down

Surrey Creations is a series by local photographer, Philip Traill, exploring people in their work environment, capturing the characters and what they do in a single image. To contact Philip, send an e-mail to him at: philip@traillphotography.com

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