Camark
A brief history can be found in
A Brief History of Arkansas Art Pottery.
This is an introduction to the people behind Camark Pottery.


Samuel J. "Jack" Carnes - founder of the Camden Art Tile and Pottery Company, commonly known as Camark, of Camden, Arkansas - was a native of Ohio. He wanted to turn Camden into a second Zanesville.

John Lessell (pronounced La-sell) was scheduled to head the art department. Camark's first art wares were made in Ohio by Lessell using Arkansas clays to test their suitability for art pottery manufacture. Utilizing techniques he developed at Owen China Company, J.B. Owens Pottery, and Weller, John Lessell produced a variation of almost every line he had ever created elsewhere using Camark clay and shapes and signed them "Lessell". Despite Lessell's death in December 1926, Carnes proceeded with the plans for the Camden plant hiring Mrs. Lessell and her daughter, Billie, to head its art department.  In the Spring of 1927, the plant in Camden was complete and production started on the LeCamark line. 

Stephen J. Sebaugh was a long-time friend and peer of Lessell who had worked with him at J.B. Owens and Weller. Sebaugh's two sons also came to Camden.

Alfred P. Tetzchner - In December 1927, Camark introduced its Modernistic/Futuristic line by Alfred P. Tetzschner as "the first plant to commercialize the futuristic pattern". Roseville's Futura line was not introduced until 1928. Tetzchner was also the creator of Camark's Crackle, its on version of Weller's Cloudburst.

Frank Long - was born in Tyler, Texas. He was a long time associate of Niloak Pottery's Charles Hyten. He worked with Charles Hyten & Arthur Dovey in the creation of Niloak's swirl "Mission Ware" pottery. He worked at Nilaok until 1917. Around 1925, he went to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to work for Spruce Pines Pottery. In 1927, he went to work in Camden, Arkansas for Camark and was responsible for all of the hand-thrown pottery produced there.

Boris Trifonoff - A former Muncie employee helped Camark produce pottery similar to Muncie, especially the drip and mottle techniques. After 1930, artistic wares by Camark gradually decreased as it began to concentrate on castware production with pastel colors until it stopped production in the mid 1960's.


Up