Joan Campbell

Joan Campbell MBE (1925-1997) was born in Geelong, Victoria, moving to Western Australia with her family in 1940. While recovering from the stillbirth of her third child, she took a hobby pottery class, and this led her to pursue pottery as a craft. In 1959, she began work with Johannes de Blanken and later worked with Eileen Keys. In 1966, the two experimented with the raku technique and this became Campbell's preferred way of firing. She held her first solo exhibition in 1969. After contacting Paul Soldner for technical help, he organised an information exchange tour for her to the United States in 1970. In 1972, she was awarded a Diploma of Art for her entry in the International Academy of Ceramics Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She was the first secretary of the Craft Association of Western Australia, a founding member of the Crafts Board of the Australia Council in 1973, and a member of the Australia Council from 1974 to 1977, the year in which her MBE was awarded. In 1975, she moved her studio from her home in Scarborough to Bathers Beach in Fremantle, taking in several trainees a year on a cooperative basis, and gradually moving the focus of her practice to large-scale public commissions. She was preparing for an exhibition when she died in 1997. Her works are mainly unsigned but may have her full signature 'Joan Ruth Campbell' or a painted 'JRC'.

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