Jenn Johnston

I am a ceramist, living on Bundjalung Country, in Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia.

I discovered my passion for clay after a career in health research and policy. I was hooked after the first class I took, and over the next few years worked hard to develop my skills, build my home studio, and establish relationships with wholesalers, fellow ceramicists and my wonderful customers. Since the start of 2021 I have been potting full time, and have never felt more content and sure that I’m doing what I was meant to do. Making with clay has brought me joy, purpose, community, respite from chronic illness, and a whole new way of living.

In my studio nestled in my garden, I create elegant, functional, hand crafted ceramics. Predominantly using slab building techniques and stoneware clay, I focus on making work that is refined, and take pride that each piece that leaves my studio is made with care and consideration. My ceramics, in terms of both the shapes and the tones I use, are influenced by the rich and abundant landscape of the place I’m so lucky to call home, as well as my appreciation of Japanese aesthetics and mid-century modern design.

The response of others to my work has been incredibly fulfilling and I get enormous satisfaction from the thought that the pieces I make will be used and enjoyed by people for years to come.


Sustainability + Community

A plant and Jenn Johnston ceramic planterID sit in a sun lit corner of her Mullumbimby studio. There is a view of the garden from both windows.

Sustainable Production + Consumption Patterns - minimising the environmental impact of my practice and small business.

I work to design and create small batch ceramic pieces that will be treasured and used for years to come.

My studio is powered by a 10kW solar system, which covers much of my electricity needs, and I schedule my firing to make the very most of the power provided by the sun. All the water used in the studio is rainwater collected on site, and we have systems set up to reduce waste within the studio, including reclaiming and re-using all clay scraps and off-cuts. 

We are committed to using only eco-friendly packaging in the studio. We use honeycomb paper rather than plastic bubble wrap to pack orders. It protects the ceramic pieces during transit and is made from paper sources from FSC certified suppliers, so is made from renewable sources. Plus, customers can then either repurpose or recycle it. Furthermore, all the boxes we use to pack orders are repurposed from other local businesses.

Community – working with clay has been integral to me finding my community and I am thrilled that, in turn, clay has helped me to contribute to our wider community.

Each month I donate 5% of profits from retail sales made via my online store to a not-for-profit or charity which are working to create positive change. Via this initiative I have donated to organisations as diverse as UNHCR, Oz Harvest and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. 

I am pleased to donate pieces to local organisations and fundraisers, such as those working to provide support to members of our local community in the aftermath of the flood events in early 2022. Following these floods, I coordinated ‘Pottery for the People’. Potters and ceramic artists from around Australia were invited to donate mugs, cups, plates, vases and other functional pieces so that those who lost their possessions in the floods were able to experience the joy of handcrafted beauty as they rebuild their lives. The response to this callout was heart-warming, and we were able to pass on pieces to many people around the region.