Campbell Pottery celebrates 25 years in Cambridge Springs

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 6:10 PM
Campbell Pottery celebrates 25 years in Cambridge Springs by Macala Leigey
Photo: Macala Leigey

Head south past Edinboro.

Preceding the numerous fields and farms, ntering the small town of Cambridge prings, an impressive, white, twentieth entury barn will greet you. The Campbell Pottery Store, a hidden, historical gem, has served as a home for various local and national artists’ artwork for 25 years.

“The store has always been owned and reated by Jane and Bill Campbell. They started their own pottery in downtown ambridge Springs back in ’79. The studio still there today; they still create pottery from there, and it’s sold across the country to many other galleries and stores,” said Campbell Pottery Store senior staff member ay Barbar.

Barbar has worked with the Campbells for early 30 years, continuing to work weekly at the pottery store.

“They [the Campbells] started the store roughly in 1990, because they no longer anted to do craft fairs. When they bought the building out here that came with the arn, they had some seconds in pottery that they wanted to sell, and thought ‘let’s just try ,’” said Barbar.

From their initial start, the Campbells rew their pottery business little by little, until the store expanded throughout the entire barn.

Owner of Campbell Pottery Store Bill Campbell shared that him and his wife "never intended to” start the store.

“We had a yard sale one time to get rid of some seconds, and it was so successful we decided to improve to barn a little bit, and kind of got out of hand,” said Campbell about the inception.

“Over the course of the last 25 years, much of the renovation happened during the first 10 to 15. We [Campbell Pottery Store] started out small, a little renovation, a little it more, [and] the next thing we knew, we ncompassed the whole barn,” said Barbar. Bill Campbell has been creating award- winning porcelain for over 40 years, with many of his creations being featured and sold exclusively at the pottery store.

“This [Campbell Pottery Store] is the only place in the country you can come and get Bill Campbell pottery seconds. Seconds are ieces of pottery that aren’t perfect enough to sell elsewhere because they expect high uality, perfect firsts,” said Barbar.

She continued, “We have pottery here that have tiny flaws that are still usable, sometimes the color just didn’t turn out right because Mr. Campbell’s glazes are what he calls ‘demanding mistresses;’ he’s always trying to get them to settle down and they don’t always do what he wants them to. He couldn’t sell that to a premier gallery, but he sells them here.”

The store also displays and sells various artworks created by local and national artists.

“We buy artwork from potters, jewelers, [and] glass blowers — all kinds of artists from all across the country and Canada. We have local artists; we have artists from California [and] all over the place. You can find fabulous artwork everywhere,” said Barbar.

Barbar continued, “We also buy fair trade items, [and] we go to wholesale craft shows in the country during the year to find new artists to bring new artwork into the store. So we always have something fresh as well as old favorites. We have something for everyone.”

The unique, art-infused shop also houses a small gallery on its first floor. The Stonewall gallery holds roughly five to six shows a year, displaying different forms of art created by local and national artists.

Currently, the gallery is hosting an “Art of the Ornament” show until Dec. 11, which features a variety of ornaments, handcrafted from metal, clay, wood, paint, natural materials, and numerous other art elements.

“We try to support local artists. We have a handful of local artists here, because it’s such a low populated area. We do have some fantastic artists that have their work here, and it’s nice to share with the community,” said store associate Anne Ingersoll.

Ingersoll has worked for the pottery store for nine years and also helps with the Stonewall gallery.

“That’s [the gallery] probably my favorite part. Working with different artists and all of their work, and trying to create the best view of their work that you can,” said Ingersoll.

“We have a nice, small knit group of people that we work with, and we build relationships, which is nice; it’s like working with your family. It’s fun, it’s great to work here,” she said.

In regards to local business competition, Barbar shared that the pottery store strives to “promote all small businesses” and doesn’t view other businesses as competition.

“We’re not in competition with anyone. If they can’t find it here, we send them elsewhere, because we’re all in this together. We’re all small business people; we need to work together and promote each other. So we’re not looking to be in competition. We’re just looking to promote artists and sell their work, and help them sell their work,” said Barbar.

The Campbell Pottery Store is open from March 1 to Dec. 31 and functions daily, Monday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop will close at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed for the entirety of Christmas day.

“It’s just a place where somebody can bring their friends and enjoy themselves,” said Campbell. 

Macala Leigey is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at

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