About Christina Goodall Ceramics

Inspiration

My main inspiration when making is from having grown up in a little seaside town. This town - Torquay, sometimes referred to as part of the English Riveria, holds the spirit of a time gone by from when British seaside tourism was booming. The Victorian Grandeur of the Pavilion still stands as an example in its decrepit state to post-war 50's and 60's remnants still looming to Fawlty Towers-esque B&B culture.

The Nostalgia I feel for this place is from a childhood view but also from stories spoken by generations before mine passed down. These nostalgic false memories are dreamt up to create a kind of glamour version shrouding reality. I use this inspiration for my colour palette taken from the area; dreamy pastel coral, sea blue, and minty green. 

The girly, childish, and kitsch symbols I use in my work are used to reminisce my girlhood and are also part of a familiar collective memory from my generation. Hand piped decoration much like thick sugary icing creates traditional 'house-wife era' patterns including shells, roses, leaves, swirls, ruffles, ribbons, and basket-weave on my work reflects the expectations on a woman's role. The labor-intensive decorating style also reflects traditional craftsmanship.

I also use a technique called water etching - painting an image with a resist, then the clay surface is rubbed with a wet sponge to produce either embossed or debossed imagery. I use this subtle technique to add further texture, the raised edge can hold more glaze, emboldening the colour in these areas. Water etched statements are inspired by Traditional Torquay Pottery. This was often made from local terracotta and white slipped functional ware with statements of advice in local Devon dialect.

Handmade pottery freshly thrown on the pottery wheel sitting on shelves
handmade raw pottery with piped decoration drying on shelves

Process

I make small batches of both decorative and functional Ceramics from my studio in Torquay. I hand-throw all the forms on my potter's wheel with stoneware clay. The clay objects are then 'trimmed' to carve out a foot-ring and then handled, spouted, or altered to function. The work is then decorated with piped clay. I may also apply a 'water etched' decoration creating a raised image or text. The piece is then signed. The clay objects are slowly dried; fired in a kiln to around 1000C; washed and dipped in glaze; fired again in the kiln to around 1230C. After cooling the ceramic object is complete and ready for use, to be lovingly looked after by a new owner. My aim always is to create beautifully crafted objects that function well.

History

I began enjoying working with clay at school, making figurative clay sculptures. I went on to study a BA in Fine Art Sculpture. I still enjoyed the feeling of clay and its seemingly endless possibilities. I started learning to throw on a potter's wheel, glazing and firing ceramics. After finishing my degree and moving home to Torquay, I bought a traditional potters wheel to continue my learning. Practicing consistently trying to perfect my technique. I began volunteering in a pottery studio, maintaining the studio for classes and firing kilns. I began learning glaze making and continued my making. I became self-employed and started selling my pottery. I now work full-time in my studio designing and making my own ceramics.