about paper boat press

"the creation of beautiful things is the test of all great civilisations, it is what makes the life of each citizen a sacrament and not a speculation"
-oscar wilde

est. 1995 paper boat press is the boutique ceramic studio of Kylie Johnson in Brisbane, Australia.

During her study of Visual Arts and Film in the early 90’s 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. These artists also taught her ceramic skills in glazing, packing kilns, and hand building techniques. 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).

paper boat press, in its early days created boutique greeting cards featuring her own whimsical one or two line poems. This has now grown to include ceramic ornaments, ceramic jewellery, and functional ceramic vessels. Kylie’s work in all its varied forms sells in over 40 stores and galleries in Australia.

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 Murdoch Books signed Kylie for a second collection of poetry and a once courageous heart was released in March 2010.

In 2012, Kylie opened a studio & gallery in Ashgrove, Brisbane where she creates and showcases a full collection of paper boat press work. In the gallery Kylie has hosted and curated over 20 exhibitions, both group and solo shows, for fellow artists including Bridget Bodenham, Clairy Laurence, Niharika Hukku, 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 her work.

2014 was 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 collating the 10 years (to date) of quotes used in her signature ceramic quote tags.

Kylie was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2017, which saw her spend two months in Japan in 2018 studying the Japanese art of Kintsugi (ceramic repair), as well as visiting and learning from gallery owners throughout Japan on how they manage their spaces, their philosophies, and how they support handmade.

In 2019 Kylie and her sister Tiffany Johnson were offered a book deal with Thames & Hudson to write and photograph a book documenting their mutual love of the work of Japanese artisans. Utsuwa - Japanese objects for everyday use was released in Australia and the United Kingdom in 2021.

Kylie’s pursuit to create beautiful, quality handmade objects, to support and celebrate fellow artists who dedicate their life to a similar pursuit, and to share both of these joys with like minded souls is her life’s work…