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Nicolette Johnson Ceramics


Earlier this year we profiled the apartment of young Brisbane photographer Nicolette Johnson, and while we were there we noticed a handful of beautiful ceramics dotted around her home. It turns out they were made by Nicolette herself! In recent months, Nicolette and her partner Tom have relocated to a slightly bigger home, allowing Nicolette to set up her very own ceramics studio at home and further develop her practice.

Our Brisbane contributor Jo Hoban recently caught up with Nicolette to chat about her newfound passion for ceramics.

5th December, 2016
Jo Hoban
Monday 5th December 2016

Nicolette Johnson only took up ceramics in early 2015, but the appeal was instant. With an intuitive knack for throwing vessels on the wheel, Nicolette has spent the past 18 months developing her own distinctive style. Of course, the reality is that it takes a whole lot of effort and time. But that’s okay with Nicolette, who’s looking forward to making pottery a much bigger part of her life.

With a yearning for more space to create, Nicolette and her husband, Tom, moved from a compact inner-Brisbane apartment into a charming Queenslander cottage just a few months ago. Nicolette wasted no time setting up a studio in the undercroft of the house, and acquiring a pottery wheel. Since then she has been working hard at developing her ceramics practice.

‘I have collected pottery for a long time, and always wanted to learn how to make my own, so I started taking classes, and my love for clay is only continuing to grow,’ she explains.
Nicolette was always much more interested in art than anything else when she was growing up. She ended up attending art school, where she majored in photojournalism, graduating in 2011. Since then she has worked as a freelance photographer. These days, when she’s not shooting or editing, you’ll find her throwing pots, trimming pots, and repeating. ‘The tactile nature of clay is a wonderful counterpoint to what I do as a day job, which involves a lot of sitting at the computer,’ she mentions. ‘I love throwing on the wheel. It’s almost magic watching the clay move into the place it’s meant to be.’

Lately, Nicolette’s been experimenting with larger pieces that offer a contemporary take on ancient forms, with bulbous bases, elongated necks and unexpected handles. ‘I’m really inspired by simplicity, modernism, the American Southwest, and Native American pottery shapes’ Nicolette says. ‘Right now I’m working on throwing more intricate shapes.’

You can find and purchase Nicolette’s work via her online shop here.

Nicolette Johnson in her Brisbane studio. Photo by Nicolette Johnson.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email