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Elise Johnston
I am a ceramic artist working from my home studio in Dunedin, New Zealand. I Completed a BFA in 2006 at Otago Polytechnic School of Art majoring in sculpture, and I have been working predominantly in clay ever since.

My practice involves two distinct areas:
  • sculptural ceramic work which I make under my name Elise Johnston;
  • and a range of functional ceramics which I make in collaboration with Karen Taylor O'Neill under the name Three Cups of Tea Ceramics (2011 – ongoing).
Over the years I have exhibited my work in various group shows including with the Otago Potters Group, the Ceramics Association of New Zealand (previously NZP), the Otago Art Society, and as part of The Dunedin Fringe Festival. I have had several pieces exhibited at The Portage Ceramic Awards. I have taught various beginner pottery classes, and in 2018 I was invited to teach a weekend Master Class workshop at Risingholm Community Centre in Christchurch as part of the Doris Lusk 100thAnniversary Celebrations.

My work often explores ideas related to Human Science: the philosophical, biological, social, and cultural aspects of human life,and our predictions for the future. I take inspiration from my young family, my local environs and culture, and the contemporary art world at large which I mostly access via digital media. I am interested in the craft/art debate within ceramics and have been making functional and sculptural ceramics, exploring at what point a craft object becomes an art object.

Prior to 2015 my work is signed Elise O'Neill, and after my marriage in 2015 it is signed Elise Johnston. My stamped signature remains the same throughout.

Contact Details

021 297 5246
Postal Address
20 John Street
Dunedin 9018
Current Mark Photo