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Joan Campbell

Joan Campbell MBE (1925-1997) was a potter and ceramic artist.

joan campbell

Joan Campbell at the door of the Gallery which was formerly the kerosene store and is now the Kidogo Gallery.

Joan Campbell was born in Geelong, Victoria in 1925. At the age of fifteen, in 1940, her family relocated to Western Australia. She took up pottery later in life, at first as just a hobby before pursuing it as a craft. She constructed a wood-fired kiln at her Scarborough home, teaching herself firing techniques.

In 1959, Campbell worked with Johannes de Blanken, a Dutch potter who had moved to Western Australia. She then partnered with Eileen Keys and they resolved to use only locally available materials in their work. In 1966, the two experimented with the Raku firing techniques, which then became her preferred method of firing. Campbell held her first solo exhibition in 1969 at the Rie Heyman's Old Fire Station Gallery at 4 McCourt Street Leederville. In 1970 she travelled to the United States and worked with Paul Soldner. Campbell found herself being recognised as an exponent of Raku, and was invited in 1972 to exhibit at the International Academy of Ceramics Exhibition, with a selected group of Australian potters, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


In 1968 Campbell helped establish the Western Australian Branch of the Crafts Association of Australia (later Craft Association of Western Australia) as the Association's secretary. She was a foundation member of the Crafts Board of the Australia Council (which was established in 1973), and was a member of the Australia Council from 1974 to 1977.

In 1975, Campbell established a studio at the Kerosene Store building on the shore of Bathers Beach, adjacent to the ruins of the Long Jetty.

In 1977 she was awarded an MBE for her work in the Arts and in the same year was WA Citizen of the Year (Arts, Culture and Entertainment).

Late in 1996 she was diagnosed with cancer and died on 5 March 1997. Wikipedia.

References and Links

Hanley, Luceille (ed.), Rie Heymans, John McPhee, Ted Snell 1984, Joan Campbell: Potter, Fremantle Arts Centre Press; photographs Roger Garwood.

Lovering, Lindsay 2014, 'Joan Campbell MBE', Fremantle Studies, 8: 19-26.

Webb, David & David Warren 2005, Fremantle: Beyond the Round House, Longley, Fremantle: 12-13.

Wikipedia bio (source of much of the above).

Wikipedia page for the the kerosene store building.

Pot photo: NGA.

Garry Gillard | New: 20 July, 2016 | Now: 29 July, 2022