Camark Pottery was the inspiration of Jack Carnes, an Ohio native who relocated to Camden, Arkansas in the early '20s. It was his goal to emulate the success in ceramics that had been achieved in the Zanesville area, and in 1926 established the Camden Art Tile and Pottery Company. The early products featured the designs of John Lessell, formerly of Weller Pottery, and were typically finished in spectacular iridescent or luster glazes. These early pieces were art pottery in the truest sense, comparable to anything produced by Weller or Rookwood. Marked "Lessell" or "LeCamark", these early designs are quite valuable today. The early designs were hand-made in limited numbers, but in the '30s Camark began a slow evolution towards the exclusive production of mass-produced cast items, the result of economic necessity. Camark Pottery remained active until it was sold to Mary Daniel in the early '60s, at which point the facility was used primarily as a retail outlet for old stock. Intermittent production did occur through 1983, but following the owners death in that year Camark closed for good. Camark made few TV lamps, which accounts in part for the prices they command today. Their bear fish bowl/TV lamps are particularly valuable.
Camark's bear fish bowl/TV lamp is a rare item, particularly with the glass bowl found on this example. The original bowl is distinguished by the nipple on the bottom, making free-standing use impossible.
|Another view. I believe these were also made in brown, maroon, black and white.|
|Here's a look at the Camark inventory sticker, marked with a retail price of $3.98.|
As with all Camark TV lamps, this horse isn't found often. It was made in several solid colors. Photos courtesy of Troy and Martha from Fort Worth, Texas.
|Camark put their marking into the base of the horse, and added a paper inventory sticker for good measure.|
|Same design, this time in yellow. Photo courtesy of George Martin of Little Valley, NY.|
|A look from a different angle.|
Although 8 1/2" tall, this Camark dancing lady is a tiny lamp, with none of the weight and bulk of other TV lamps. She is also found minus the electrics, intended as a figurine/flower-holder.
|This lamp was almost certainly fitted a fiberglass shade, as the lamp isn't substantial enough to block the bulb from view. A paper Camark label is visible.|
|The bottom shows a second Camark label, this one made of foil.|
I could be wrong, but I suspect that this Camark elephant didn't begin life as a TV lamp, but rather was converted at some point. Photos courtesy of Bobby from Saint Francis, Kansas.
|Here's a look at the other side, but where's the fixture? The socket is fitted to the inside, the cord running through an opening on the bottom.|
|Camark liked labels, and many examples are still found with both foil and paper labels present.|
|A view of the bottom shows the mounting of the on/off switch.|