Zoë Johnson is a studio ceramicist living and working on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Art History at the University of Minnesota while spending every spare moment in the clay studio. During this time, and directly post-graduation, she honed her ceramic business expertise while working as studio manager for a large-scale porcelain studio pottery.
Her work is expressive, organic, at times highly detailed or elegantly simple. Her work has been described as "...a sublime representation of living in a sea of inner journeys" which captures the essence of it quite well.
Ms. Johnson’s work occupies the space between functional and decorative, her vessels are often embraced as physical representations of memory or gratitude, evoking a moment in time, a fleeting sea breeze, the salty reminiscence of a day at the beach.
Influenced by the earth, sun, sky and especially by the vast oceans that embrace so much of the planet's surface and support such an incredible array of life, Zoë's high fire porcelain vessels and jewelry nurture a deep connection with the natural world.
Zoë exhibits her work in galleries all over the island of Hawaii, and offers a variety of classes and workshops throughout the year. Her studio is located in Kamuela, Hawaii, the headquarters of Parker Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii, and is open by appointment for tours.
“She loved the sea. She liked the sharp salty smell of the air, and the vastness of the horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky above. It made her feel small, but free as well.” ~George R.R. Martin
Perhaps it’s an odd thing growing up in landlocked areas of the Midwest and Europe to be so enraptured by the ocean, then again, perhaps it’s the most natural thing in the world...when I first encountered the ocean, at the age of 5, my strongest emotion, after awe at the sheer size of the water was one of homecoming. Oceans contain 99% of the living space on the planet, humans have explored just 10%. And yet, ocean feels intimately familiar, it is the primeval place of our very origins, each and every one of us has salt water flowing through our veins.
These days, I make my home in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on the most geographically isolated land masses on the planet, yet nothing about this experience feels remote, instead, I feel as if I’m right at the very core of the natural world. On a daily basis, I feel the call of the ocean…in the salt tinged offshore breeze, in the sun glinting off the water, in the soft white sand underfoot, in the gentle waves that lap invitingly at the toes…immersed, one feels supported, embraced, soothed, calmed and completely at ease. My wish is to convey this set of sensations through my work.
Born in Minneapolis, MN, USA Currently lives and works in Kamuela, Hawaii, USA
Peter Antrim Kowalke