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designer's bio

Helen is a designer, design teacher, mum and wife.

The tinch wallscapes evolved during a transition from working professionals to new parents where our space is shared with the delightful chaos of a growing child. The aim was to design something halfway between art and play for walls in our home; for grownups to apprecitate and littlies too, saving floor space with a contemporary decor aesthetic.

The outcome is delightfully addictive and adaptable in arrangement possibilities, the wallscapes make ever-changing scenes.

More recently, the designs are integrating elements from Helen's fascination with typography, tessilation and graphic motifs; a sense of fun and play for work spaces.

My background is in Communication Design and Marketing, I have a degree in each from the University of Otago, and I teach in these areas at tertiary level. I'm also commissioned for freelance graphic design / marketing / strategic design projects when time permits.

I consider myself an educated, responsive and intuitive designer. My approach always reflects the influence of existing elements in a design project, from materials to more intangiable details like history or context. My wallscapes upcycle unused or discarded materials by changing their context to appreciate the beauty of their colours and textures - liberating them from their former garments and associations.

I work in my home-based garden studio which has lots of places for our daughter to potter and play while Mum designs and makes.

Three things in particular influence all of my work:

- I grew up on an organic market garden in New Zealand's south island. This instilled an appreciation of all things natural in the simplest forms; colours, textures

- My ongoing intrigue for the challenges of communication design

- Nostalgia for the simple joys, imagination and sense of wonder that is childhood, and the pursuit of a smile...

the tinch story

"tinch" is the concept unifying the works of designer/maker; Helen Riley-Duddin.

tinch™ was Helen's childhood word for an intuitive measurement, and embodies her creative approach...

tinch | tin CH | -es, -ed, -y, -iness, -ing (additions welcome)

Etymology: young new zealander

Date: circa 1993


1. an intuitive unit of measurement: move it just a tinch; I'll have a tinch more please


1. to make aesthetic adjustments: looks like it needs a tinch-up; could do with some tinching

2. an organic method of process: to tinch it; forget the list, we'll just tinch it

tinch™ is a tiny inch, a pinch, a hunch.

It's fun, it's intuitive, it's idiosyncratic.

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