Shelagh was born and brought up in Cornwall. Like many of her generation though she had to leave Cornwall to further her education, and was not encouraged to follow art as a career, but to acquire a "sensible" training.
Whilst out of the county she pursued art as a hobby. The most sustained period of five years was making sculpture at evening classes in Bath. The last three years of which her bronzes were selected for the R.W.A. Annual Exhibition.
When she returned to Cornwall after her first child was born she fulfilled a lifetime`s ambition to bring a greater focus to her interests by completing a Studio Ceramics degree at Falmouth College of Arts in 2000. She says "Graduating at the age of 50 was a fantastic thing for me, and having achieved it later than most, I had a lot of life experience to draw from as source material."
Her work is about the human condition. She describes her influences as ancient art, like the clay tomb figures from the Han and Tang Dynasties of China and the simple low fired earthenware figures and votive offerings from ancient Greece and Anatolia. Currently she makes figurines of people and animals. Her work is widely collected.