Kataro Shirayamadani was born in Kanazawa, Japan in 1865. His name means "White Mountain Valley", but his friends in America generally called him "Sherry". After several unsuccessful attempts to hire a Japanese artist, Rookwood Pottery hired him away from Fujiyama, an import retail and decorating shop in Boston, Massachusetts. He worked at the Pottery from 1887 through 1912, when he moved back to Japan to work for the government. He returned in 1920, and worked at Rookwood until his death on July 19, 1948. Many of the shapes made at Rookwood throughout the years were designed by him, and he created some of the most spectacular painting with a sense of realism. He used the entire surface of the vase as his canvas rather than just decorating the front and ignoring the back. The painting style was very unique because it was crisp and detailed but combined his eastern training with western style. He is considered to be one of the most talented artists to decorate at Rookwood, and collector interest in his pieces is always exceptional.


Example of a Kataro Shirayamadani vase in Vellum Glaze


Example of a Kataro Shirayamadani artist mark in Japanese script

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