John Campbell was born in 1857 in New Zealand and moved to Victoria with his family as a child. He became an apprentice at Bendigo pottery and his newly learned potters skills were rewarded by winning medals in the 1879-80 Melbourne Juvenile Intercolonial Exhibition for his exhibits - a stoneware fountain, a whisky still worm and two terracotta fire grate backs.
At around age 23 he moved to Tasmania and in 1881 in partnership with his father in law, bought Alfred Cornwell’s 'Victorian and Tasmanian Potteries Launceston pottery works. In the 1891-2 Tasmanian Exhibition in their home town of Launceston, Campbell’s exhibited a range of pots and urns, vases, teapots, cheese dishes with covers, jars, bottles and Toby jugs.
Pipe and brick manufacture was the largest part of the Campbell business, but John Campbell's own interest were the hand-thrown decorative items that they manufactured.
John Campbell died in 19129 and the business was taken over by his eldest son, Colin who continued the business. After his death in 1956 the business continued. more...However pottery sales were declining due to overseas competition, and input costs such as glazes were increasing and the pottery closed in 1959.
The pipe and brick manufacturing business closed in 1976.
A group of three Australian blue Ceramics, Melrose Ware and John Campbell, 1930s, the Melrose Ware bowl of compressed form with a broad ribbed rim and bracket handles, decorated in a rich cobalt and mottled drip glaze, stamped underside; the John Campbell
A collection of Australian pottery vessels, circa 1930, comprising a large Remued vase, a John Campbell jardiniere, a Fowler Ware cylindrical vase, a Bendigo pottery vase and a Bennett Magill vase (5) the largest 33 cm high
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