Hello! We are Austin and Jess Smith, and we founded Camden Clay Company in 2015. The idea to start the company was planted when we collaborated on our ceramic wedding favors in 2012. Since then we have opened a showroom at our home and studio in Camden, Maine, and our products can be found in shops across Maine and beyond. Camden Clay Company exists to make beautiful, functional porcelain objects meant for every day use.
Austin P. Smith
Austin P. Smith is the artist and maker behind Camden Clay Company. He studied ceramics at Bennington College from 2003-2007, and has maintained a studio in Maine ever since. He is inspired by his home state's coastal landscape and waterways, which is especially evident in his Chart Series. Austin primarily enjoys working in slip cast porcelain, and has studied with such highly regarded slip casting artists as Andy Brayman, Tom Spleth, and Steven Heinemann. He has been both a student, and teachers' assistant at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and a short-term resident at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts.
Jess Smith studied visual arts and computing at Bennington College from 2004-2008. Her background is a pretty even split between production assistant for various craft-type businesses (ceramics, candle-making, weaving), and retail. She wears many different hats at Camden Clay Company, including studio assistant, product designer, web and graphic designer, showroom manager, shop-cat wrangler... the list goes on. Jess moonlights as a fiber artist, and her fiber wares can often be found at the Camden Clay Co. showroom.
Our Studio and Showroom
Our studio and showroom are at our home, nestled in the tall trees and backroads of Camden. We live and work at the same property that has been home to the Smith family for decades. The studio was originally built in the 1970s by Austin's father, Sam, as a car workshop when his mother would no longer allow him to bring engines into the family's kitchen. The room that once was that same kitchen is now our showroom, a small, yet light and airy space were we display and sell our work, and occasionally host pop up shops with other fantastic Maine makers.
Our showroom is a scenic five-minute drive from downtown Camden. It is open to the public, and can be visited by making an appointment. If you come in July-September make sure to leave time to visit our across the street neighbors, Endless Summer Flower Farm. Their collection of over 200 varieties of dahlias is not to be missed.