Richard Goodwin-Jones is an established designer-maker, recognised for his unique range of hand-made ceramics. He has worked solely with Raku since leaving art college in 1984. In 2008 he moved to the Cote d’Armor region of northern Brittany, France, renowned for its beautiful pink granite coastline. Here he set up his current studio with his wife Julie, and although recently retired she continues to support Richard and helps develop ideas for new pieces.
Richard's work is influenced by the colours and textures he finds within the harbours, boatyards and coastline of Brittany and Cornwall. In particular he loves to photograph old working boats that have plenty of character - such as rusty hulls or colourful, distressed paintwork. He translates this research in the studio to develop designs for new pieces. He then uses the distinctive Raku firing technique to attempt to reproduce similar effects on the surface of each piece of work.
Richard has developed a range of stylised ceramics, which are made as free standing pieces as well as framed pieces. Everything is made using a combination of hand building and press moulding techniques. Richard enjoys the flexibility of constructing a piece from several sections of clay rather than throwing a piece on a potter’s wheel. He’s also introduced slip-casting techniques to help with the ever-increasing demand for his work.
‘Raku’ is an exciting process of firing clay objects that originated in Japan. Richard loves this method of firing because he can be more hands-on with each piece, all through the firing process. He uses a homemade gas-fired raku kiln. [This is a unique structure, built by Richard as a ‘temporary’ kiln – but it works so well he’s still using it 20 years later!]
The glazed pieces are rapidly heated to just under 1000°C. The items are removed from the kiln when they are glowing ‘red-hot’. Using long metal tongs and thick leather gloves, Richard lifts each piece from the kiln and places it onto a bed of combustible materials [dried grass cuttings, leaves, wood shavings etc]. The pieces are engulfed by flames and covered by a large metal tin - to reduce the supply of oxygen. Heat and smoke react with glazes to create the characteristic effects of Raku.
Richard designs are made to draw attention towards the unpredictable Raku colours and textures. The final effects can be either subtle and understated or surprisingly rich and dramatic. In addition to the main collection of work featured on this website, he also creates one-off and larger items which are made to commission.