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Floral scented handmade Soy Candles

New Product Alert! 🚨 ‘An English Garden’ 💐 Handmade Soy Candles

At last, after many months of development. I have finally launched the most beautifully scented soy candles you are gonna have a whiff of this year. Inspired by ‘The English Garden’ theme for my pop-up event in Studio Nine on Totnes high-street. These vegan soy candles are a Collection of floral and fruity goodness each in an individual handmade, wheel-thrown and piped pot.

Firstly, I threw these adorable little vase vessels on the potter’s wheel with hand-piped decoration adorning each one. Then, they are glazed in a lovely, smooth, satin white glaze and an array of colourful oh-so-glossy glazes. Before they are each hand-poured with high-quality fragranced soy candle wax. Also each handmade candle is protected with a handmade (from recycled paper) dust cover.

ceramic handmade Soy candles fresh fruity and floral fragrances in shop on table
Introduction of Soy candles at Studio Nine Pop Up Event | June 2022
Style 1 – Piped Spots
Style 2 – Piped Ribbon

Finally, once you have melted your candle to the bottom, just remove the remaining candle wick and wipe the inside with some kitchen roll or tissue. Then you have a stunning mini vase for tiny bouquets or maybe a pen pot for the office.

Priced at an Exclusive introductory price of only £22.

The 10 Scents:

Rhubarb & Blackberry

A delicious fruity blend, this is perfect for those with a sweet tooth but who also want a bit of sharpness. Rhubarb and blackberry with a hint of vanilla. This smells like the world’s best crumble.

delicious pie with rhubarb
bowl of blackberries

top notes: fruity, rhubarb, apple, red berries

heart notes: rhubarb, strawberry

base notes: sweet, creamy, vanilla, custard

Plum, Rose & Patchouli

This one is beautifully fruit, floral and a little bit earthy. It also has a little bit of sweetness from the tonka bean, plum and vanilla; and citrus from the orange and bergamot.

high angle view of fruit bowl of plums on table
selective focus photography of pink rose flowers

Top Notes: Plum, Cassis, Rose, Bergamot, Orange

Heart Notes: Black Cherry, Prune, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg

Base Notes: Patchouli, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, sweet, Musk

Sweet Pea

This beautiful strictly floral scent, if you’re not familiar, with this gardener’s favourite is similar to orange blossom and hyacinth, with a hint of rose.

blooming sweet pea bouquet in vase with water

Top Notes: sweet pea, rose, hyacinth, jasmine

Base Notes: woods and vanilla

Pear & Freesia

If I had to have a favourite (but lets be honest – they all are my fave!), it would be this one. Sweet, citrus, woody, floral – this fragranced soya candle has it all and perfectly balanced to radiate throughout your home. You’re welcome.

close up photo of bunch of pears
freesia flowers in a vase

Top Notes: bergamot, lemon and pear

Heart Notes: magnolia, orchid, rose, Muguet

Base Notes: musk, amber, patchouli

Peony & Suede

A charming scent of  exquisite peonies in voluptuous bloom. Flirtatious and seductive, with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose, and carnation. All mingling to become sensually soft like blush suede.

close up of pink peony flowers

Top notes: peony, red apple, aqueous

Heart notes: rose, jasmine, carnation

Base notes: violet, plum, musks, patchouli, dry amber


The classic! Sweet Vanilla but with notes of nutty spicy nutmeg; hints of florals and hint of woodsy musk.

vanilla bottle for baking

Top notes: Madagascan vanilla pod, nutmeg

Heart Notes: florals

Base Notes: nuts, woods, musk

Raspberry & Peppercorn

This handmade soya candle holds the sharp and spicy scent of peppercorn; and the sweet and tartness of raspberries makes this lovely combination for this fragrance. Both woodsy, sweet and floral this is a great choice for the home.

healthy red fruits raspberries sweet
small heap of pepper on white surface

Top Notes: Raspberry, Black Pepper, Pink Pepper, Rose

Heart Notes: Whiteflowers, Jasmine, Vetivert

Base Notes: Musk, Amber

Blackberry & Bay

Both fruity and musky from the blackberry and herbal notes from the bay similar in scent to oregano or thyme. Also come in the beautiful floral notes from rose, geranium and muguet. This is a lovely strong but balanced fragrance.

bowl of blackberries
lush bay leaves of evergreen laurus nobilis tree growing in garden

Top notes: blackberry leaves and blackcurrant buds

Heart notes: rose, geranium, muguet and bay

Base notes: musk, sandalwood

Sea Salt & Driftwood

Something a bit different here and a definite favourite for myself and many others. A floral marine scent from refreshing notes of seaweed and green algae livened by a fresh coastal breeze and enhanced by touches of cyclamen and water lily. At the base of the fragrance, sparkling salt crusted driftwood is warmed by amber, patchouli and musk.

photo of seashells on driftwood
macro photography of crystal salt

Top Notes: Ozone, Seaweed

Heart Notes: Cyclamen, Waterlily

Base Notes: Driftwood, Amber, Patchouli, Musk

Lavender, Chamomile & Vanilla

This handmade soya candle holds a sensual and calming blend of french lavender, chamomile and lavender. This scent is great to burn for a calming setting, with floral notes of lavender, lilac, chamomile; fruity from coconut and peach and woodsy scent from cedarwood.

purple petal flowers lavender focus photograph
closeup photo of white daisy chamomile flowers
vanilla bottle baking

top notes: coconut, peach

heart notes: lavender, lilac, chamomile

base notes: cedarwood, vanilla

Remember to follow safety instructions labelled on the bottom of each one of the handmade soy candles.

By Christina Goodall

Find out more

Follow me on Instagram at Christina Goodall Ceramics and Margo Margo Jewellery to see the process of making my ceramics.

Also Christina’s handmade stoneware pottery made on the potters wheel is available to browse on this site. Read here for more information on how Christina Goodall Ceramics pottery is made.

Christina makes all her ceramics in small batches from her studio in Torquay, Devon. Unlike mass-produced ceramics, Christina’s handmade pottery is unique in its design and production.  She has a degree in Fine Art Sculpture from UAL which led her into ceramics. Christina then moved back to her hometown and began her business by assisting in pottery studios, teaching pottery workshops and producing her own ceramics.

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The 10 Best Summer Garden Gifts

The Summer is nearly here and it’s probably the Gardeners’ favourite time of the year. Right? I mean all the flowers blooming, the fragrant roses and sweet peas and all that luscious summer vegetables ready to harvest. Not to mention, what’s better than sitting in a garden with the sun beaming and the little birds are tweeting with a nice cold cider. Ahh sounds like heaven, right? Well here are the 10 best Summer Garden gifts to give to garden enthusiast loved-ones in your life so they feel extra special this summer.

1. Birth Flower Seed Box Set

Oh So Cherished

What is more lovely than gifting someone their very own birth flower to grow? It comes with a personalised terracotta pot and tray; engraved plant tag, a packet of seeds and some compacted soil. This is an all-in-one and very personal garden gift perfect for your green-fingered friends and family.


Birth flower seed box set garden gifts

2. Personalised Name Bean Seeds


These really are magic beans! Well, they don’t grow into a giant bean stalk but instead a personalised bean stalk. Which if you ask me, is still pretty cool.

Just place these special beans in soil and watch the name grow up on the bean. Each bean is also engraved with a smiley face on the opposite side. Easy to grow – the perfect garden gift! These beans would be adorable gifts for children wanting to learn more about nature and how things grow.

From £6

personalised name bean seeds

3. Zen Tabletop Garden

Idyll Home

The purpose of a zen garden in Japanese culture was apparently for buddhist monks to meditate from. Now a little more popular in the West, this cute little Zen garden is perfect for that loved one always looking for products to help with their mental health and clarity. I feel like this product would be a great anxiety-reducing activity by raking sand into patterns, the placement of smooth pebbles and growing a small plant to place in your mini Zen Garden. This tabletop version is small enough for tiny flats with not much room or garden.


zen sand tabletop garden

4. Mini Greenhouse Herb Garden Grow Kit

Gift Republic

This is another perfect gift for anyone living in a flat and wanting to try their hand at gardening. With this adorable mini Greenhouse, you can grow a selection of herbs on your windowsill or brighten up your desk in a home office.


mini greenhouse herb garden grow kit garden gift

5. Personalised Copper Tool Set


A beautiful and stylish set of the gardener essentials – this is a copper set of fork and spade with optional trowel. Wonderfully good quality and handy, marked in centimetres and inches to dig the appropriate depth for your beloved plants.

The added bonus of copper being anti-rust, and it might well beautifully patina with age. And also it would make a wonderful gift by personalising the set with person’s name to add that extra special touch.


personalised copper tool set garden gifts

6. Harvesting Basket

all things Brighton beautiful

An attractive vintage-style wire basket for any vegetable gardeners plentiful harvest. Or it would be ideal to carry freshly cut flowers from the garden into the home.

Adding a rustic country style to the home, this basket would be an ideal gift for a keen gardener loved-one.


harvesting wire basket garden gift

7. Personalised Gardener’s Seed Box

Clouds and Currents

This personalised seed box would make a lovely garden gift for anyone with keen interest in planting from seed and needing organisation of their collection.

Made by hand in their Essex workshop, Clouds and Currents creates these beautiful keep-sake customisable seed boxes.

Inside each garden box is four carefully engraved wooden dividers displaying the titles; ‘Veg’, ‘Herbs’, ‘Flowers’ alongside one left blank for you to personalise yourself.


personalised gardeners seed box garden gift

8. Galvanised Watering Can

The Forest & Co

A sleek chic watering can? Yes here it is! And this Powder coated steel (in black or green) is a much more eco-friendly alternative to the plastic version and is the perfect addition in the climate-conscious gardener’s toolshed.

The beautiful brass rose adds a stylish touch and ease of pouring. With a capacity of 10 litres it will be easy to perk up your garden foliage on a warm day.


black galvanised watering can

9. Cast Iron Squirrel Twine Dispenser with Scissors


Made from sturdy cast iron and featuring a cute perched squirrel figurine, this practical string dispenser is the perfect accessory for the keen gardener. Complete with a handy pair of mini scissors, the twine holder comes with a roll of jute string for a variety of tasks around the home and garden. 

To refill the dispenser, simply unscrew the squirrel decoration to the top of the string storage holder, remove the flat topper, replace the twine roll, and then screw the squirrel back into place.


cast iron squirrel twine dispenser with scissors

10. Handmade Ceramic Bird House

Christina Goodall Ceramics

The perfect garden gift for wildlife enthusiasts! Handmade by myself! Thrown on a potters wheel and glazed in a smooth buttery satin white glaze. Perfect to hang on a nail or screw on a garden wall. Just put some bird feed in and watch little birds flock to have some garden grub. And soon enough you will hopefully have a little bird nesting inside.

Comes in a plain style or piped dots decorated style.

Christina Goodall ceramics handmade ceramic bird house in white garden gift


By Christina

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My 10 Favourite Cake Decorators on Instagram 

Prepare yourself for all this delicious piping of colourful frosting. I love the look of piped cakes, reminiscent of motherly baking and celebration. Which inspires my ceramic work greatly (gallery below of some of my work) and I have been keen to learn the traditional piping skills of yesteryear. My learning to pipe has come partly from fantastic cake decorating creators on instagram where I can look closely at their piping techniques.

There are some seriously talented and creative people in this field but it can be hard to find them in a field of thousands. The hashtags #cakedecorator #pipingskills are useful but my taste is specific when it comes to piping. I love the kind of piping designs that are traditional, neat, made up entirely of piping from several different nozzles, and especially kitsch in style. Here is a list of my favourite Cake decorators I have found on Instagram and who I think YOU should be following for all that piping content you didn’t know you wanted.

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London based bakery Coven Bakery make these stunningly piped cakes. Ribbons, swirls, wiggle patterns with pearls and cherries make up these nostalgic iced lovelies. I’m a big fan of contrasting colour palettes and anything pastel which these gals supply in abundance.

Follow them here.


London based April’s Baker create these dreamy heavily piped celebration cakes. This bakery combines so many different piping styles and nozzles so expertly to create these intricate and elegant piped creations.

Follow them here.


The Gemini Bake is based in New York City. Retro Kitsch, bright and creative; this bakery artfully pipes all sorts including borders, draped swags, wiggly lines and flowers. They also post nostalgic photos and videos of vintage cakes and piping.

Follow them here


3rd I Am is a Korea-based bakery which expertly creates elegant vintage-inspired. They also teach and host cake making and decorating classes for beginners and advanced. Their piping is so neat and perfectly spaced. It’s handled expertly between the line-work, ribbons, swirls and shells.

Follow them here


I really enjoy how this maker is able to create cute characters and creatures using piping techniques. Their traditional techniques are creative and original on each cake created. The star-shaped nozzle piped font here creates lovely texture with the smiling daisy characters. And I love the leaf-nozzle ruffle with nostalgic bow and cute piped poodle faces. 

Follow them here


I love this UK-based bakery’s creative designs. Beautifully decorated and unique in designs. I enjoy their use of sarcastic statements on their cakes like “beige” on a beige cake, “sugar high”, “here comes another heartbreak”. I enjoy their feminine pastel colour palettes and piping is varied in styles and nozzles. Lots of fun and clever designs. They also published their own ‘Vegan Cakes’ recipe book that I have on order to look forward to reading.

Follow them here


This bakery’s use of whipped frosting on their vintage style cakes to create kawaii cutesy-style characters with chubby faces and big pink cheeks brings a child-like nostalgic feel. Their use of double font piping, where the cursive attached message is piped first and a contrasting colour is repeated on top. I am obsessed with a good basket weave (harder than it looks!) and here it is paired with piped roses, daisies and leaves.

Follow them here


This artist and baker creates beautifully creative designs. I love the kitsch Americana designs especially, there are cowboys, 90’s Firbies, mountain scenes, dinosaurs and lots of piping videos to watch. The koi fish pond cake is one of my faves – The water and koi fish are almost painted on the surface and then you have the lovely texture of perfectly piped lily pads and flowers. Their use of bright colours and perfectly blended scenes is something to admire.

Follow them here


A new find for me! And I love their work already. The piping is spot on, so neat and well positioned. The cursive double piped font is lovely and I particularly like their use of a traditional grid pattern and making it look like tartan in a bright palette. I appreciate a well piped ruffle on a cake too.

Follow them here


And lastly another brand new find for me. I included them not only because of their perfectly piped creations but because I have not seen such beautifully piped flowers before. The carnation example here is so beautifully realistic. And the daffodils here are expertly created to produce a professional and clean spring design *chef’s kiss* 

Follow them here

By Christina Goodall

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55 Things I learnt in the first year of my small Creative business

Here are 55 things I experienced during the first year of my creative business. Some I’m still regularly feeling.

1. It takes a lot longer than you thought

2. It will be a lot harder than you thought. You will think about giving up on several occasions

3. It will be a lot more frustrating than you thought. You will want to pull your hair out on several occasions

4. But it will also be a lot more satisfying than you ever thought

5. Every hour you are awake you will be thinking about your business in some way. It will probably keep you up at night too

6. You will be on your phone nearly as much as you will be at your desk working

7. You will spend hours and hours soaking up all that business advice from blogs and podcasts

8. Pricing your products is hard. “time spent making these+materials+etsy 5%+free delivery+packaging+electric+100% profit=?????”

9. You also know your product is valuable but you desperately want those sales so you underprice them

10. You will have to learn so much about branding, social media marketing, photography, photo editing, consumer rights, book-keeping, cookies, website design, blogging, SEO. The list goes on and on

11. Instagram is way harder than you thought, posting an interesting photo each day suddenly seems impossible

12. You have to spend money to make money. Unfortunately

13. So your other job (that is probably paying minimal wage) will keep you financially afloat. Just

14. That first sale (that isn’t from someone you’re related to) will feel soooo good

15. Adulting and running a business in general is hard. You’re tired constantly

16. You don’t have a weekend anymore

17. Early mornings become your norm now

18. But also entire days in your pyjamas with your laptop are acceptable too

19. Although Netflix is your new best friend so it’s kind of okay

20. Finishing a blog post twice a month is a lot harder than you first thought

21. But apparently blogging is essential to get traffic to your website so you continue to try (and fail)

22. Everything will feel overwhelming sometimes

23. So it’s good to ask for help

24. And then you read a business book for dummies and everything suddenly seems so simple

25. Sometimes you surprise yourself at how good you are at your job

26. Then the self doubt sets it

27. But then someone comments how much they like you’re new product on Instagram and you’re fine again

28. You get embarrassed when your new favourite product doesn’t get many likes on insta

29. But when one of your favourite accounts likes one of your photos you’re over the moon. You must be doing something right!

30. You will no longer have a social life. “I can’t go out tonight, I’m working”

31. Social media is not a social life

32. Treating yourself is a good idea

33. Because Self-care is important

34. Life puts barriers in our way. Including the whole of 2020

35. Christmas is your key selling opportunity

36. You thought you were busy before. You learn the true definition of ‘busy’ now

37. And you don’t sell all your Christmas stock so you just give it as gifts to your family instead

38. But then January comes and you have to get your books finished

39. Creating a website is way more complicated then you thought and way more expensive

40. Hardly anyone will be looking at your website for a long time how ever much you write about it on your facebook business page

41. You realise Google is all-powerful. You do everything you can think of to please it. Bow down to it’s omnipotence

42. Oh and once you put your phone number out there on the world wide web you will start getting constant scam calls asking if you’ve been in a car accident

43. You resent buying supplies on amazon (making Jeff Bezos even richer) but also they have so much choice you can’t resist

44. Procrastinating on Pinterest making boards of your dream bedroom decor or the perfect vegan brownie recipe is not working

45. But spending hours procrastinating on Pinterest looking at other maker’s work is kind of working, right?

46. Multitasking is key. You will have many fingers in many pies

47. Great Customer service is also key

48. Packing an order really well and writing “please please please be careful with this” on the parcel in bold capital letters still doesn’t mean the parcel will end up in one piece to your customer

49. Getting your product to the top of your niche Etsy search will feel good

50. Waiting for someone to buy it won’t

51. When it does sell, you will probably do a little happy dance

52. When you get that first 5 star review you just want to bow down and kiss their feet

53. But even after you send your lovely handmade product off swiftly and beautifully packaged, getting a ‘meh’ 3 star review will feel awfully personal

54. If you’re £3.28 in profit at the end of the month you’re overjoyed. At least you paid your bills. Who cares about paying yourself a wage?

55. Basically starting a business is way harder than you ever thought but also so rewarding at the same time. It’s basically the best thing you’ve ever done

Thank you so much for getting this far!

How many of these do you relate to as a small business??? Let me know and we can laugh/cry together.

Many thanks for reading!

By Christina Goodall

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NEW: Margo Margo Ceramic Jewellery

So I might be a bit crazy. I’ve just gone and started my own Porcelain jewellery collection called Margo Margo Jewellery.

How they are made

The project started in 2020, the year of isolation, when I realised I needed to try and work from home as much as possible instead of my pottery studio. I decided to start experimenting and making something I had wanted to try for a long while – porcelain earring pendants.

raw white Porcelain clay with cut outs of earring shapes part of the Margo Margo Jewellery collection.

Porcelain Slab cut out

Much like in baking (there always seems to be similarities between baking and ceramics!) I rolled out my porcelain clay thin like pastry and started cutting out the shapes with some cookie-cutter-like polymer clay cutters I found on Etsy and Instagram.

After bisque firing, I started a 3-day sanding job until each side was a smooth buttery finish (I had also sanded the first layer of skin off my fingers which was not pleasant). Then all the porcelain parts dried out and were fired in a glaze firing. They came out smooth and matte white.

White porcelain earrings shapes to be fired in kilnReady to be Glaze fired

Margo means Pearls!

I wanted to incorporate pearls (the name Margo means pearl hence the name), mother of pearl shell and glass miyuki beads within the design with a colour palette of mostly white, cream, green and pink in mind. Then, I began assembling the earrings at home with help of sketches I had drawn of some designs I liked. I watched lots of youtube videos on how to make jewellery: opening jump rings; attaching earring posts; peyote beading stitch among other jewellery making related subjects.

How to learn more

I started a new instagram account named Margo Margo Jewellery as the collection might have looked out of place on the Christina Goodall Ceramics account. I started reposting seaside inspired images from other accounts and photos of the Margo Margo earrings against glossy satin fabric that beautifully contrasted against the white matte porcelain.

Each earring design is named after a feminine name with a meaning that relates or sums up the earring design. Some come is more than one colour wave depending on the design.

Some of the earrings hang on a french style earring wire while the majority are attached to a hypoallergenic stainless steel earring post with backs coated in clear resin stopping the post from ever snapping off.

I have loved making these new little objects. I made them with idea of there being a style for everyone. Currently there are over 50 designs, from statement dangle pearl earrings to impress your work mates over zoom to minimalistic understated studs for the everyday.

All the earring designs are available on Etsy at

Many thanks for reading!

By Christina Goodall

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12 IKEA Products for Pottery

Here are 12 of my favourite Ikea products that I use in my pottery studio. If you are an amateur home ceramicist or a fully fledged studio potter, these Ikea products are going to come in handy to ease your pottery making. Here I share my favourite Ikea hacks from storage ideas to tools for making and glazing.

1. SORTERA Waste sorting bins £9 for 60l and £6 for 37l

ikea waste sorting bins pottery clay bins

These Plastic bins are great for storing scrap clay yet to be recycled. For a larger scale pottery they are the perfect option to store glaze materials as well. These are also stackable so they will help save floorspace in your studio which is essential for every ceramics studio.

2. SAMLA Insert for Box £3

insert box handy pottery tools storage

This handled box is great for tool storage to store and then bring with you to your pottery class or move around with you in your studio. I have separate ones labelled for throwing, trimming and glazing which makes life easy when you manage to have hundreds of little tools for every and any job in the studio. And the cherry on the top is that they easily wiped clean. Happy days!

3. SOCKERBIT Storage box with lid £12

ikea storage box for clay storage

These under-bed storage boxes are great for the studio. They are great to slowly dry out your greenware pottery to minimise cracks and warping in the kiln later on. Store them under shelving or desks and just forget about them until your pottery is ready to bring out to bisque fire.

Otherwise they are perfect for storing balled up clay ready for throwing the next day.

4. HEJNE Softwood shelving 3 sections/shelves £88

ikea softwood shelving for pottery studio storage

This is the shelving I use in my studio and I absolutely bloody love it! Sturdy, easy to assemble and you can continue to add on the sides. You also decide how many shelves you insert and the height of each shelf. Think about how tall your work tends to be when thrown when deciding the number of shelves. Fairly wide at 50cm, these are ideal to use to store freshly thrown work and store bisque work as well. I recommend buying the plastic feet to go on the bottom to keep from water damage in often damp pottery studios.

5. HYLLIS Shelving unit with cover £13

ikea shelving unit for drying pottery

These garden units are great for storing greenware to slowing dry out. I use them all the time as my pottery that I apply piped clay onto needs extra time for the water content to balance out so these units are great to dry them out slowly. They help reduce cracks and warping also in the bisque kiln. The shelves are quite tall for my work but I tend to stack the clay pieces so this is fine. The cover is essential to keep moisture in at a small cost.

6. RÅSKOG Trolley £39

ikea trolley for storing pottery tools

These are great to store your many, many tools and keep by you when you are working on your clay work. Wheel around your studio between your wheel and your work bench/desk to keep it easy.

7. VARIERA Plastic bag dispenser £1.50

plastic bag storage for storage handy plastic bags in pottery studio

These are a life-saver in the studio. I store all of my plastic bags in here to wrap work up at the end of each work day. I need about 3 more of these to store all my different sized plastic bags. And at £1.50 they are a bloody bargain!

8. MAGASIN Rolling pin £3.50

ikea rolling pin

Cheap and cheerful rolling pin for slab work. I find that these rolling pins with this kind of handle design where the barrel moves independently from the handles are much more useful compared to the traditional rolling pins that are made from one single piece of wood. I find you can get more pressure and an even slab with this design and ultimately you can roll out clay better.

9. GUBBRÖRA Rubber spatula £1

ikea spatula

I use these when making glazes. I can stir the glaze ingredients in with the water and then get every bit out when sieving the new glaze with the rubbery end. An essential when making glazes. I have 3!

10. FULLÄNDAD Ladle £0.75

ikea ladle

I use this ladle to glaze taller pieces that I can’t dip. I ladle in glaze to coat the inside then tip out glaze. Then hold the piece upside down with glazing tongs and using the ladle pour the glaze over the outside of the piece and back into the bucket.

11. BEVARA sealing clips set of 30 £1.50

ikea sealing clips

I keep a lot of my glaze material in the original plastic bags they come in. Once I cut the cable ties off, I use these sealing clips to enclose the materials in the bag. Which is perfect at keeping the bags sealed and reducing dust in your studio.

12. ANTAGEN dish-washing brush £0.50

ikea dishwashing brush

These dish-washing brushes are great for glaze stirring. If you have a stubborn glaze that collects heavy at the bottom of your bucket try these brushes to stir and break up the glaze at the bottom. A handy addition!

By Christina Goodall

Read my other blog posts here.

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Making Ceramic Gingerbread Ornaments

close up photography of gingerbread

Christmas is still more than 3 months away and yet I have been making ornaments for the holiday all of this month; here is a little video of me making ceramic gingerbread people ornaments from start to finish. These guys will be a special release on my website shop for Christmas 2020 in the coming weeks.

If you have an interest in making with clay, this might be a lovely project just in time for Christmas. Or if you would just like to see how I make these hanging ornaments. You can even make a more accessible version using salt clay or air dry clay using the same techniques here.

What you will need:

  • Clay (I used buff slightly speckled stoneware here. Terracotta would be an ideal clay for this project also)
  • Gingerbread people cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Rolling guides
  • Potter’s knife
  • Potter’s rib
  • Piping set with piping bags and assorted nozzles
  • Drill Bit
  • Underglaze in white and light brown (I use a brand called Contem)
  • Small Paint brush
  • Transparent Glaze
  • Gold Ribbon


Step 1: Roll out your clay using Rolling guides and a rolling pin. Roll out to about 0.5cm. Compress your clay with a potter’s metal or hard rubber kidney. This will will reduce warping and any air bubbles.

Step 2: Preferably allow to dry to a bit softer then leather hard. Begin cutting out your Gingerbread people with cutter.

Step 3: At leather hard, draw out your design. Drill a small hole near the top of your design with a drill bit about 3mm width. Fill your piping bag with thick clay slip and choose you nozzle. Pipe your clay slip with a similar pressure you would use for frosting on a cake (takes a bit of practice to get used to the consistency and method). I use a small round nozzle to pipe the face and wiggle lines on the arms and feet; and I use a french star shape for the body buttons. Allow to dry slowly to bone dry for first firing.

Step 4: Fire in bisque firing when completely bone dry. Remove from kiln. Wash with water to remove any clay dust. Allow to dry.

Step 5: Pick out your underglaze colours. Remember underglaze does not fire to the same colour it looks unfired so you may require test tiles to compare. Begin to Paint your Gingerbread Ornaments with underglaze (I water down my underglazes about 1:1 to water and apply about 3 layers). I used Contem Light brown and white. Allow to dry.

Step 6: Paint wax on the back of your design including the thin sides. Allow to dry. Prepare your transparent glaze. I use a piece of wire to hook the ornament threw the drilled hole and dunk into the glaze evenly coating your ceramic ornament. Allow to dry. Wipe the back clean of any drips of glaze.

Step 7: Your Gingerbread person is ready for glaze firing. I fire to cone 6. When your kiln is cool enough, retrieve your ornament and tire twine/string threw drilled hole ready to hang on your Christmas tree.

Many thanks for reading!

By Christina Goodall

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13 Common Potter Mistakes

If you know, you know. That is if you are a potter, you understand my woes. This is 13 Common Potter Mistakes that we have all at some point made in our making process. Clay is a delicate fellow who definitely lets you know when it’s not happy.

1. Wedging air into the clay so that when you are throwing on the wheel you find a nice big air bubble and have to grab for that needle tool

2. You then poke/stab yourself with that needle tool. Ouch!

3. You throw a lovely, elegant-shaped pot. You cut it off the wheel and transfer it to a batt to dry and then you accidentally lose your balance and in slow motion drop it. You sigh. There it is. Your lovely pot squished flat like a pancake on the floor.

4. While working on your leather-hard pot, you accidentally scratch the lovely smooth surface with your finger-nail. Forcing you to have short nails for life

5. Trimming a pot. You begin to carve a nice foot ring on the bottom. You feel a bit more generous and start to push a bit further down- urgh you’ve just carved a hole instead

6. Usually you’re pretty skilled at not breaking your wares, but some days you develop butter fingers and break more than you make

7. You score and slip like a pro when attaching your handles but still somehow after a bisque your mug handle is slightly cracked around the seam

8. You wax your pot’s bottom/foot ring and somehow drip wax down one side. That stuff is bloody hard to remove! Where did I put that lighter to try and melt it off . . .

9. The excitement is overflowing to open the glaze kiln, and after waiting a whole day to let the kiln cool down enough. You open the kiln to find . . . your pot is completely stuck to a kiln shelf. Your lovely new glaze has melted and slid down the pot attaching itself there

10. You threw a lovely jar that fits perfectly together with it’s lid. After carefully glazing the two parts, where they slot together is clean of powdery glaze. But when you open the glaze kiln to find that it’s lid has somehow fused with the pot and you cannot release them however much you try

11. That mysterious hairline crack that comes out to say hello in the glaze firing. It must have been so small you didn’t notice it when you glazed over it but when coming out of the glaze firing, it has become a big ole crack

12. My personal favourite. PINHOLES. These crafty little buggers come out randomly even after you do everything in your power and cover every variable

13. Pottery has a memory you know. It remembers all your little mistakes. Grab your pottery a bit harshly and the clay will punish you later for it by warping

Thank you so much for getting this far!

How many of these do you relate to as a potter??? Let me know any that I have forgotten and i’ll make sure to include them.

Many thanks for reading!

By Christina Goodall

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My 6 Go-to Pottery Throwing Tools

Here are 6 tools I can’t go without when sitting down to throw (as well as my pottery wheel of course!) I’ll let you in on my tried and true favourites. All of these products are available online if you think they might help you throwing those clay shapes.

1. Ribs – These ones aren’t made out of bone but instead wood, metal and plastic. My favourites are the mud tools ribs that come in a variety of shapes and colour-coded flexibilities. I use the The ‘Very soft’ Red Shape 1, The ‘Soft Flex’ Yellow Shape 2 and The ‘Medium Flex’ Green Shape 4.

The Red one is great for the initial pulling and shaping, this super flexible rib is easier to work with the soft clay.

The Yellow one is more rigid, I find this better for cleaning up the shape of the thrown shape and removing all that clay slip. That sharp right angle lets you clean up the base as well.

I find the Green one is better to use when trimming, the harder polymer can actually scape the clay and act as a trimming tool to clean up and smooth the surface. I even use it as a burnishing tool on leather hard clay. Buy directly from Mudtools or most clay suppliers including Bath Potters and Scarva.

Red Mudtools throwing rib

MUDTOOLS Shape 1 Rib

I’ve also used wooden ribs which depending on the type of wood, can swell and degrade. I find the best way to avoid this is to steer clear of ribs made of ‘Boxwood’ and instead go for a hardwood or bamboo.

There are also ribs that can create some fun textures and shapes. I use a bamboo throwing rib from Bathpotters that gives a neat and clean bee hive shape.

bamboo pottery rib

Bamboo Throwing Rib

Also you can use Cake decorating cake scrapers, used to scrape icing away from the surface of a cake to create patterns. I bought a set from amazon and the result can be very good. They are almost awkwardly too tall but the variety in one set is fun to play around with.

2. Diddler – A strange name for a sponge on the end of a stick but there you go. Diddlers are helpful because they allow you to remove water from a vessel when the vessel is too narrow to remove it by hand with an ordinary sponge. They also allow you to remove some of the clay slip from the internal wall. Yes they are a simple design, but sometimes the best tools are. Here is the one I use.

3. Callipers

These are great when your’e creating lidded vessels like jars and teapots to accurately measure the lid to fit the rim or internal gallery. There is no need to remember measurements like would need to do with a ruler as the measurement can be screwed tight in place. Also if you’re aiming to throw multiples and you want them to be a specific width or height, go ahead and use callipers. There are several types available online at varying price points.

4. Needle tool

MUDTOOLS Needle Tool

5. Mirror

Any mirror will do! Put a mirror up in front of you when throwing. Angle it so that you can see your hands on the wheel, so that when throwing you have vision of the side of your pot as well as your bird’s eye view from above. This way you don’t have to move your body too much when throwing to look at the side while pulling and shaping. You can just look to your mirror.

6. Hand cream

It’s easy to dry out your hands when throwing as a potter. The constant rinsing of hands, as well the silica and grog in clay is lightly abrasive. Glazes as well can act as an irritant on the skin, due to the dust, acids and alkalis that can be present. This can lead to ‘work-related dermatitis’ which causes painfully sore skin (so try to wear latex gloves when glazing). I use hand cream before I start working, as needed during the day and then at the end of the day. O’Keef’s Working Hands Hand Cream is my preferred choice at the moment. I find it moisturises my skin well, soaks in quickly and doesn’t feel oily.

Many thanks for reading!

By Christina Goodall

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‘Maker’s Block’ Remedies

You’ve probably heard of ‘writer’s block’ but believe me when I say there is also such a thing as ‘maker’s block’. If you’re a crafter or an artist, you have probably already experienced it. When you sit down to make something and feel completely uninspired or your mind feels blocked of creativity and new ideas. Here I give some remedies to said block. This is the ‘How to get your creative Mojo back!’ list of things to try.

1. Self care

Take time to heal mentally and physically. Slap on a face mask and rest that aching back (from hunching over your latest project for hours) with a hot bath and a glass of wine. Stay in bed for a few extra hours to catch up on your z’s and Rupaul’s dragrace or chill with a good book by the crackling fire. Whatever it is that makes you feel a bit more recharged.

2. Try a different creative output

Sometimes putting pressure on yourself to make money from a craft can zap your creativity. But having a go at a creative medium you haven’t tried or long forgotten with no pressure to be good at can relieve stress and get the creative juices pumping again. Embrace the experimentation and the mistakes.

3. Mental health check

Just take a minute to stop making and have a little check-in with your own mental health. You might not have even realised you were struggling a little bit while you were rushed off your feet. If you think you need a little help speak to a friend, family member or your doctor.

4. Talk to a friend

Ring a friend and talk until you’ve both put the world to right! Review a recent Netflix show you both loved, chat world events, moan about your other halves to each other and maybe release a bit of gossip you’ve been dying to drop. Having a catch up with your friends is going to release some of that stress you’ve been carrying around and then allow you to let loose the creativity.

5. Pet a cute furry Animal

Did you know it’s a proven fact that petting a dog or cat can lower resting heart rate and increase some of the happy hormones serotonin and dopamine. Furry friends are good for our health and basically make life more bearable. Another form of relaxation to get you ready to start making again. And if you don’t have a pet at home to cuddle, maybe search ‘cute baby animals’ on youtube as a compromise?

6. Have a walk in Nature

Maybe take said pet on a walk with you in nature? Or you could try camping (or glamping?)! Take a moment to breathe in all that fresh air; hopefully it will recharge the creative mojo in your mind and it might even inspire a new creative project.

Many thanks for reading!

By Christina Goodall