I have for almost fifty years pursued the process of salt glazing, and through this I have been seeking new surfaces that challenge the traditionally accepted limitations for salt glaze. The journey has been far ranging, extremely challenging and all consuming. When the raw materials, the nurtured form and the surface created emerge from the kiln fused as if by natural evolution, then I have achieved my idea of a magic pot.
Born in Melbourne, Victoria. Initial training, Preston Institute of Technology, February 1967-68. Worked with Michael Leach (UK) 1971; Artist-in-Residence, Wedgwood UK, 1971-1972. Diploma of Education, Melbourne State College, 1973. 1967, late February, set up pottery in Rosanna; 1974 built house and studio in Yackandandah. Annual Studio Exhibitions Easter and November since 1979; tableware production and salt glaze since 1967. Began working with Terra Sigillata 1987, motivated by major commission, New Parliament House, Canberra. 1971, first solo exhibition. Numerous solo and group exhibitions, Australia and overseas. 2017, John Dermer Celebrating the Journey, 50 Years at The Potters Wheel, Yackandandah. Represented in public and private collections, Australia and overseas: Parliament House Canberra; Federal High Court Building; Westerwald Museum Germany; Wedgwood Museums UK and USA; State, Regional and National Galleries, Australia. Awards including the prestigious Salzbrand Keramic Award, Koblenz Germany, 2006. Working in salt glaze, terra sigillata, producing tableware and exhibition work. Gas and wood fired kilns, brick and ceramic fibre construction.