avatarDorothy Johnston

Dorothy has loved working with clay for many years.

Her  two main ranges of unique handbuildt  pottery are both functional and decorative.

One range of pottery features Blue Mountains gumnuts and gumleaves decorating waterproof vases of many sizes, tea bags sacks, used bags sacks, even old bags sacks with the country kitchen finish of hessian texture.

Another popular inclusion in this series are bowls in varying sizes.  These are suitable for jams, cream, sugar, dips, pate and sauces, extending to larger bowls for maybe fruit, salads, pasta or stews.  Your own imagination as to their uses is the only limit.

These bowls are glazed inside with either sea blue or reddish/brown. Externally, all items are finished in a natural rustic biscuit colour.

All Dorothy’s pottery is overproof, microwave and dishwasher safe.

Another part of her pottery range includes small dishes featuring native Australian Fauna.  These include the famous Aussie Koala, Kangaroo, Wombat, Platypus, Kookaburra and many others.

Because these dishes are easily transportable, they are very popular with both national and international tourists.

Dorothy also makes windchimes using gumleaves and Liquidamber leaves. Before Autumn each year the rush is on to make Liquidamber Windchimes before the leaves disappear for winter.

Dorothy has exhibited her pottery in many prestigious Art and Craft Exhibitions both locally and throughout Sydney and has had her work available in many Gift Shops and Galleries.

After a professional career in the legal field, Dorothy was ready for a complete change of direction.  Only accidentally, she found a vacancy in an evening pottery class and the change began.

Dorothy began her pottery career, specialising in handbuilding at the Blue Mountains Creative Arts Centre, a community-based Arts and Crafts centre at Glenbrook in 1982.

She began evening classes under the guidance of pottery teacher, Dawn Sinclair and discovered her favourite medium – handbuilding in white stoneware clay.  No need to get dirty, it dries white and brushes off so easily!

Her current pottery is fired to 1280 deg C in an electric kiln.

After a couple of years with Dawn, Colin Sell tried to convince her that wheel working was worth persevering with.  No, handbuilding was the way to go for her, less frustrating, less demanding, so very tactile and not as wet and messy.  Both Tutors relented and encouraged her to develop her individual and distinctive style.

Next step, teaching hand building pottery.  It was such a joy to share all the tips, hints, challenges and disappointments.  But still the passion was there.

Over the years Dorothy attended numerous workshops which gave her an added appreciation of the many forms of pottery to be experienced, especially suited for handbuilding and easy to do both inside and outdoors (but not during bushfire season!)

These types of primitive firings were developed centuries ago, and continue today.  Some of the workshops included Raku, Lustre, Pit, Sawdust and Bonfire firings.

As years moved along, Dorothy enjoyed demonstrating her craft, encouraging many people to take up the challenge to try pottery.

Being surrounded by the stunning Blue Mountains has greatly influenced Dorothy’s work.  Outside her studio are glorious Grey Gum trees and Liquidambar trees and gardens filled with geraniums shrubs.

Hence, Dorothy’s pottery ranges are the Gumnut Collection and the Geranium Collection.

She hopes you have the opportunity to visit The Nook and enjoy her work. Maybe she will be behind the desk on duty the day you come and she will have a chance to meet you.

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