“I MUST go down to the sea again...” and collect some treasure to craft into pieces of artwork and ornaments, might well have been what Helen Carlisle was thinking when she started Craft Happy.

Her Pershore-based business has been running since June last year and involves repurposing what was once waste into beautiful art.

Helen said: “I make unique gifts from sea glass I have collected from the site of an old bottleworks in the north-east.

“Seaham, near Durham, was once home to a huge factory which closed in 1921. Tonnes and tonnes of waste glass was tossed into the sea which still washes up today, but as beautiful ocean treasure.


Collecting glass from the beach at Seaham in the north east of England.

Collecting glass from the beach at Seaham in the north east of England.


“I repurpose this into artwork and solder it to make beautiful ornaments for the home. I am also often asked to make personal gifts for people to celebrate special occasions in their lives as well as to remind them of loved ones.

“People like to give something personal and also people like to have a little bit of the beach in their homes. It’s also lovely that something that was once considered waste is now being collected and recycled into beautiful keepsakes.”


A beautiful commission for a romantic couple made from sea glass and driftwood.

A beautiful commission for a romantic couple made from sea glass and driftwood.


Helen began experimenting with soldering glass to form models and shapes at the beginning of 2021.

When she was younger, she had watched her dad cut pieces of glass, cover them in copper tape and solder them together to form geometric shapes which he filled with plants and sold at craft fayres.

It was from here that she got the idea to try it with sea glass: “He made it look so easy but it was a difficult skill to master! I broke two soldering irons and nearly gave up altogether before I found the courage to show my first piece of work.”

The first time Helen posted a picture of two birds on a piece of driftwood, the response was phenomenal and she gained hundreds of followers in one day on social media.”

And word is spreading far and wide, Helen having recently completed a bit of transatlantic business.


The flamingo who went to Canada

The flamingo who went to Canada


“I was recently commissioned to make a picture of a flamingo to send to a lady in Canada.

“Commissions can be difficult as you have to get inside the customer’s head rather than just producing something that’s inside your own head. It’s also hard if the customer has an idea of how they want it to look.

“Although it can be stressful, taking on customer requests, I also love being pushed to try new things and I have found I have improved hugely in the few months as a result. My confidence to take on unusual design requests has really grown.”

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The fact that her business has taken off has been a real boost to Helen, who admits who has struggled with low confidence and anxiety, and found the whole pandemic difficult, especially after being furloughed from her office job in April 2020.

“The sea glass I had collected over the years was tucked away in a cupboard and I found it one day when I was in a creative mood.

“I was supposed to be running the London Marathon in April but it quickly became apparent that wouldn’t be happening and I had this crazy idea to make some pictures from the glass and sell them for charity.

“With the race not going ahead, charities needed all the support they could get but I was also kidding myself that people would buy them to support the charity and not because they were especially saleable.

“It was only when they sold so quickly and the feedback was so positive that I felt validated and my confidence in what I was doing started to grow.

“I am now in the position where I will shortly be giving up my office job to become a full-time artist and I have to pinch myself when I say that.”

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Helen is part of a Facebook group called Worcester Virtual High Street.

The ‘Worcester Virtual High Street’ group is free to join and allows independent shops, services, tradespeople, crafters, e-sellers and entrepreneurs of all kinds to promote their wares to customers free of charge.

Shoppers in turn have the chance to discover hundreds of exciting products, service providers, special offers and one-off buys on their doorstep – more details at https://worcestervirtualhighstreet.co.uk