All Artwork by Christine Wallace © All Rights Reserved.

Christine Wallace - Ceramicist

Christine Wallace started training in ceramics in her late thirties. She works in her studio in inner Sydney, Marrickville and her brightly coloured and fun ceramics find their way to homes all over the world. Her hallway is full of boxes and packaging waiting to be shipped.

Ceramics is a physically demanding art form. Christine loves that part of it, she said:

“I don’t know why but I’ve always had to do things with my hands. I’ve always had to make something that I can see.”

This love made it especially difficult when she could no longer practice because of her physical health. She spent several years unable to work and in enormous pain, she said of those years:

“I nearly shrivelled up and died, my life stagnated, everything came to a grinding halt. I never rested before, resting was never on my list of things to do”.

I don’t know why but I’ve always had to do things with my hands. I’ve always had to make something that I can see.

3 citrus bowls by Christine Wallace

Regardless of the pain, Christine couldn’t ignore her creative drive. “I was starving from not being able to make things.” She decided she had to overcome the physical demands, by “working smarter”.

Her art school training kicked in, and until she recovered, she replaced working at a pottery wheel with making moulds to cast her pieces.

Her best selling pieces are a result of this period. Out of nowhere, she thought “pineapples”. Her Queensland friend thought she was crazy but suggested modelling it on a Queensland ‘Roughie”. As crazy as the idea seemed, she has made and sold thousands of her hand painted pineapple shaped bowls, cups, containers and vases. She said, “they have just gone off like a train”.

2 Pinapple cups by Christine Wallace
A pear plate by Christine Wallace

She is back at the wheel and producing a variety of colourful objects. Christine finds inspiration in the everyday, like fruit and vegetables.

She looks at these things as forms, and finds they are really beautiful. “I think a lot of domesticity is where my art comes from. I like to make things that are functional, even my sculptural pieces in the garden have a function, like growing a water lily.” Christine said.

Christine’s first career was in computers, but one day she thought: “I just can’t do it anymore and I felt like a part of me was really stifled and I didn’t really know what that part was.”

So she accepted a redundancy from the computer job and stepped into the unknown. When she first started she was “terrified and excited at the same time, I had no idea, I wasn’t planning it as a career path, I gave myself permission to explore for a couple of years”.

What would she say to women thinking of trying a new creative activity: “Have you thought about working with clay! Move into something completely different. Working with clay has this really amazing effect on people, it’s very grounding.”

What next?

“It evolves, I can’t tell you how, something will happen. I can’t lock myself into a rigid plan. I am so happy when I’m making things and unhappy when I’m not making things.”

It’s that simple.

3 Monstera fruit dishes by Christine Wallace
3 spoons by Christine Wallace
Watermelon bowls by Christine Wallace

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Calling all OWN artists!

Do you exhibit or sell your visual art or music? We are eager to talk to members who are independent artists or part of a creative group for our next series.

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