'A lifetime’s journey with clay'
Johanna DeMaine is an internationally recogised ceramicist whose passion for clay started in Gladstone in 1971 with the guidance of Jenny Elliot and Marilyn Haertel. After traveling overseas with her husband Ted, they settled back in Calliope in 1975 and built a house and studio establishing DeMaine Pottery. In 1981, with the help of a Crafts Board grant the studio and gallery relocated to Landsborough in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Here they supplied endless domestic ware until Johanna’s unique creative flair became recognized and her career advanced to that of ceramic artist. Between 1980 and the present day, there have been innumerable awards; solo exhibitions and accolades and a remarkable string of letters after her name, as she studies both formally and privately to extend her knowledge and techniques. Johanna has become renowned for throwing exquisite forms purely in porcelain, then using lustres and gold to depict the scenery and the flora and fauna of the Sunshine Coast, particularly the Glasshouse Mountains which have been a solid background to the majority of her life.
Sadly, Ted passed away in 2015, after a long illness. In an effort to spark some new enthusiasm and creativity in her life she undertook a residency in Japan in November 2016 with a friend. Whilst in Arita, Kyushu, Johanna met Master Potter Tatsuya Tsutsui, who shared her devotion to ceramics and to the development of the art form and they now share a life too. Splitting their time between the two homes and studios, Johanna has been influenced by this new experience and culture and so new symbols and ideas are showing in her pieces. There is a subtle meld of old and new, Australian and Japanese imagery wrapped together but in a balanced and contemplative way. She has further advanced her own creation and use of decals from her photos; her enamel flower motifs have evolved as a celebration of the cherry blossom and these richly interwoven artworks convey another whole facet of the artist’s life. These were first seen in her highly successful solo, “Fragments of the Sublime” at Art on Cairncross, Maleny in August 2018. Johanna and Tatsuya are now collaborating in Arita to launch their new brand Kayabuki Koubou while still maintaining their separate artistic identities.
All serious art is a progression and this new phase in her firmly established career is a delight to behold. Johanna’s ceramics are already to be found in major collections from the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra to the Porcelain Museum in Jingdezhen, China and with H.M. The Queen as well as Crown Prince Frederik & Princess Mary in Denmark, reinforcing the truly world class standing of this regional artist’s creativity.