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 brown, white and red letter box brick, unsigned attributed to John Campbell c1935 16 x 22 x 7 cm, accompanied by: b) A John Campbell green and orange planter, signed. C1933, 25.5 cm long. Height 9 cm. Width 11 cm.
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