about

kylie-johnson-portrait-2014-(photo-by-Kara-Rosenlund)-web300paper boat press is a boutique ceramic studio of Kylie Johnson in Brisbane, Australia.

During her study of Visual Arts and Film at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane (1990 – 1993) Kylie met a group of artists and potters and became part of the group known as Amfora. Here she rekindled her love of ceramics that was instilled by her parents and their involvement in the craft in the 1970s and 80s. Amfora held many group shows throughout its 12 year run, of which Kylie was a part of all. She decorated the vessels of Clairy Laurence and David Usher and formed lifelong bonds with them and others in the group. It was through these years that Kylie also self published three books of her poetry. distant shoes (1992), forty-eight minus one (1997) and the ivory birds (2000). The poetry book launches also coincided with solo exhibitions of her painting and collage work.

In 1995 Kylie set up her studio paper boat press, in its early stages creating a boutique greeting card range featuring her own whimsical one or two line poems. This has now grown to include ceramic ornaments, ceramic jewellery, original illustrations and functional ceramic vessels. Something always brings her back to words though. A hopeless romantic, Kylie has again put her own words on her work, but this time through her own hand built organic shaped works. Kylie’s work in all its varied forms sells in over 80 stores and gallery stores in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

In 2008 Murdoch Books (Sydney, Australia) published her first commercially published anthology count me the stars, a collection from the first three self-published books. With the success of count me the stars (now in reprint) Murdoch Books signed Kylie for a second collection, and a once courageous heart was released in March 2010.

Kylie set up her first bricks and mortar store and gallery in 2012 in Ashgrove, Brisbane, where she has a full range of her work for sale. The studio is located behind the gallery. In the gallery space Kylie has hosted and curated 17 exhibitions, both group and solo, for fellow artists including Jennifer Orland, Bridget Bodenham and Liana Kabel, Clairy Laurence, Niharika Huku, Katherine Wheeler and Nicolette Johnson. Japanese potters Momoko and Tetsuya Otani travelled to Brisbane in July 2014 to have their first Australian show at paper boat press, to overwhelming success. Their second show TWO was in August 2018 and was again received with great success. 2018 also saw the first Australian exhibition of Aya Yamanobe, Aya’s intricate and beautiful work was a sell out show with many people travelling to Brisbane to see it. 

2014 saw the launch of Kylie’s third book, melancholy and bright, published by UQP (University of Queensland Press). With melancholy and bright Kylie turned her collection of words to those of others. It is a book of quotes of wisdom and wonder, collating the 10 years of quotes used in her signature ceramic quote tags. In the book she has written a foreword further exploring her love of words and where so much of her inspiration comes from.

photo credit- Kara Rosenlund