A Visit With Jeff Campana…

Yesterday I took a little trip down to the University of Louisville to visit my pal Jeff Campana. Many people are aware of Jeff’s work because his pots are beautiful and he is starting to get quite a reputation because of them. What Jeff and I have in common is our ability to endure a certain amount of tedium to get a desired result and if you’ve never seen Jeff’s pots, you will certainly agree that they are worth however much work it took to make them. Every part of his procedure and his work shows an impressive sophistication and attention to detail and runs the gamut from throwing to techniques of assembling/disassembling to glazing to how the foot and bottom of the piece look and feel. I stopped to see him on a day that finds him getting ready for a show at AKAR and he was nice enough to let me take some pictures before I left. What follows is a set of pictures that show roughly how he makes his pots look the way they do (Jeff has much better procedural tutorials/demonstrations on his website)… first he takes a greenware cup (in this case) and slices it up into separate pieces



Then he takes all the pieces and smooths their edges with a damp sponge and scores them…


Next, and when I first found out how he did this, I was totally amazed… after throwing the piece without a bottom (it actually has a carved slot that looks almost like it was machined), he inserts a disc with his chop mark on it. He has several of these and he finds one that fits just perfectly, then applies slip to the pieces that hold the bottom in place (interestingly the disc is not attached, it floats in the slot)…




After the bottom is assembled, it becomes a matter of putting all the pieces back together and when you’re watching it, it reminds you of someone putting a puzzle together or assembling a model. Note: This disassembly/reassembly procedure is relatively straightforward when compared to some of the more tricky pieces that Jeff makes.




And that’s it! Go ahead and check out his site where you can see a glazing demo that is unbelievable and other demonstrations that are very informative as well as all the beautiful pots.


Tags: , , ,

11 Responses to “A Visit With Jeff Campana…”

  1. gary Says:

    whoa, tres sophisticated, not a sloppy hack like me….

  2. Miri Says:

    Really amazing work. I though his work process was labor intensive then I read about how he glazes…Oh Nelly! No shortcuts for that guy, huh?

  3. Gordo Says:

    Holey Moley, that’s a load of work, but an amazing look.

  4. Joel Blum Says:

    That’s a day well spent. Great shots. Looks like you 2 had a lot of fun!

  5. ron Says:


  6. Jud Tavill Says:


  7. John Bauman Says:

    Richard Aerni and I were having a long conversation about Jeff Campana at about the same time you were visiting him.

  8. jeffcampana Says:


    Thanks so much for posting this great article. It was a nice visit, and I’m glad you came out. It might be a few weeks before I can go grab a beer, but we’ll git-er-dun as soon as the pressure lets up.

  9. Pat Griffin Says:

    What a great photo demo! Thanks for sharing this with us Jim!

  10. Eugene Hon Says:

    A truly deconstructed ceramic piece – I never thought I would see the day. A fine example showcasing superior craftmanship. Great images of a master crafts person at work. I am stunned.

  11. HeidiMCF Says:

    Wow that’s amazing! I’ve checked out Jeff’s site but you helped explain the bottom disk. So cool! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: