Pottery, Stickers, and the Eastern Sierra Dream with Casey Clark – Spencer Harding

Pottery, Stickers, and the Eastern Sierra Dream with Casey Clark

Words and Photography by Spencer J Harding

In an all too familiar series of small world events, I ended up at a small property about an hour north of Reno with Casey Clark.  Casey is more known in this bike world for his side hustle of “Camp and Go Slow” stickers and patches, a visual play on the famous Campagnolo logo.  Think of this as a Behind the Music if you will, well behind the sticker at least…

Nestled on the side of the road with a large sign proclaiming “POTTERY” lies veteran potter, Paul Herman, and his massive wood-fired Kiln, a centerpiece among the many facets of the property geared toward pottery.  Casey wound up as a joint caretaker of half of the property and has been carving out his own little slice of eastern Sierra paradise out of the ruins of the Nursery that once stood there.  Throughout the renovations, he is currently living in a canvas tent and commuting into Reno for teaching and other pottery related gigs.    

A veteran bike mechanic and avid bike nerd aside from his pottery, he had a silly idea, making the classic Campagnolo logo say, “Camp and go slow” which he turned into reality with the help of a friend and a vinyl cutter.  He imagined it would just be a fun thing and he’d hand out a few stickers to his friends. Miraculously, one of those stickers wound up in the hands of Jarrod Bunk, who was so excited he wanted to be a partner in this venture.  

Stickers and jokes aside, I was quite lucky with my timing of the visit to be able to witness the prepping and semi-annual firing of the massive wood-fired kiln on the property.  The process takes many months to prepare, requiring the sourcing of many cords of wood as well as the creating and packing of the kiln with pottery.  The process of firing is incredibly labor intensive, with round the clock attention needed to keep the fires ablaze at temperatures over 2000 degrees for multiple days.  It was intriguing to see the pottery community come together for this occasion, with all the pomp and circumstance of a Thanksgiving feast with plenty of communal meals for whoever was tending to the kiln at that time.  With so many facets to monitor it is most definitely a multi-person task to manage the huge fire-breathing kiln.

Wood firing is a slow and laborious task, one with results that are very unique to a firing of this type.  Casey rarely seems rushed, he just wants to camp and go slow as well as maybe take a week to fire some amazing pottery. He still sneaks in bike rides on missions to cut down firewood, and oh baby look at that sweet Rawland! The dream is still out there, you just might have to carve it out of the ruins and sagebrush. 

Bikes have taken me to some truly unique places and now I can add a communal wood-fired pottery gathering, oh the places you’ll go. Thanks for letting me hang out and ask all kinds of silly questions.

Campandgoslow just posted a bunch of new products, so head on over and check it out!

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Follow Campandgoslow on Instagram, Casey on Instagram and Jarrod on Instagram

  • R Matthew Simmons

    Absolute great piece. Love it.

  • Great coverage! I’m a potter myself, and I can say I know quite a few other “clay-people” who are into riding bikes as much as they are into their craft. I’m sure this bike/pottery content will speak to quite a few of us out here.

    • Casey Clark

      We gotta whole crew out there!!!

  • FWIW, Campandgoslow seems to be down at the moment!

    • Kevin

      The hype has been stoked too hot!

      • Casey Clark

        Ha!

    • Casey Clark

      Hey John! We’ll have the site restocked and flipped on at noon (pst).

  • mark rothschild

    Should change his 1’st name to..Harry…and where’s the Macrame???

  • nothingfuture

    Oh man.
    This is wonderful stuff!

  • More of this please! #24 is just perfect!

    • Casey Clark

      The shard pile!!!

  • Scott Felter

    One of the most beautiful humans.

    • Casey Clark

      You had me at porcelain ;)

  • Awesome piece on an awesome human!

    • Casey Clark

      Just a desk drawer full of stickers without ya!

  • Glenn Weatherson

    One of the best dudes around Reno, hey Casey!

    • Casey Clark

      Hey pal!

  • Chaise Jonsen

    Managed to pick me up one of Casey’s coffee mugs a few months back, but now I want one of those pour overs. Whats a guy gotta do?

    • Casey Clark

      I’ll make more for the next firing!

    • As soon as I saw the image of the pour overs I though the same thing, what do I need to do to get one of those. Especially since I am in Ohio.

    • Casey Clark

      DM me!

  • Jake Kruse

    No disrespect to the logo, but are those hats available from Randi Jo Fab without the embroidery as well? Very cool design.

    • Casey Clark

      None taken. Randi patterened that cap just for us, and hasn’t made any others as far as I know.

  • Dr J

    This looks like a very peaceful place to live and work in! But I have one question – while I love the “Campandgoslow” idea and execution, has Campagnolo ever complained about potential trademark infringement?

    • Casey Clark

      No, my good Doctor, but the team of lawyers we keep on retainer have assured us they are ready for anything.

    • I would certainly hope that they’d
      go after people that are using the actual logo on products that compete in the same market. (I tried to attach the images for ya) IE bottles printed with actual campy logos etc. We won’t be making bottles for this reason. That being said so far it’s been fun, and we have some products that don’t tie into the homage line, that are so different from anything campy makes or has ever I can’t wait for you to check it, cause I think you have my favorite 44 of all time for real, I’d send ya a sticker for it.

      • Dr J

        Wow, thanks! That’s a bit unexpected. I’ll PM you on Instagram then. I certainly hope Campandgoslow will survive. We all know how some companies can be. Remember Specialized suing a cafe (!) over Roubaix name?

        • Yeh but like ya know, Campagnolo is awesome! And Specialzed has chosen to pursue and close down so many rad businesses over the years. I’m happy to see that Special is developing cooler products and supporting rad people and their visions more recently.

  • Steve Reynolds

    Great article…Got a couple of badges over here in Oxford UK, last of the big spenders….

    • Casey Clark

      Thank you for the support! We spent your money on, uh, more badges!!!

  • Ugaitz Etxebarria

    Come for the bikes, stay for the photos. <3

  • Mendip James

    This has fired me up (sorry) on a dull Monday morning in London! Was into pottery at school and loved raku firing results, promised myself to get back to it one day. John Leach (son of David) has an amazing pottery down on The Somerset Levels where I’m from – https://www.johnleachpottery.co.uk/ wood fired too, lovely people. Unfortunately he’s not into bikes as far as I am aware, keep up the good work Casey

    • Casey Clark

      Thanks! How cool to live so close to the Leach pottery! They make great stoneware pots there…just beautiful, classic stuff.

  • James

    Hey @hopecyclery:disqus and @disqus_LApFGf4Jsr:disqus – I recently rode through France to an old ceramics artisan town, La Borne, down near Burgundy. There was a wood firing festival on and a bunch of kilns running. My partner and I arrived on bikes and managed to pack a whole bunch of pieces in our bags. The town is totally Hobbiton-esque, and the wine was absolutely fantastic. A+ experience. If you ever want to do bikes and pottery in France, hit me up I’ll show you the route.

    • Casey Clark

      I am soooooo jealous!!!! I’ve never been to La Borne, but I’ve read all about it and I really want to visit some day. What luck they were firing all the kilns when you rode through! I bet that was amazing!