Clouds, large plate with trailed glaze

Shimaoka Tatsuzō Japanese

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 202

This large stoneware plate is a striking example of the ceramic wares of Shimaoka. Its surface exhibits his signature technique of rope-impressed clay, with designs created using a kumihimo (braided silk cord) of the type made by his artisan father. This method of decoration was influenced by Japan’s first pottery culture, the Jōmon period (ca. 10,500 B.C.–ca. 300 B.C.), whose craftsmen pressed rolled straw ropes against the damp clay surface. On this wheel-thrown vessel, the impressed swirls are visible through the fluid brown, blue-gray, and white slip glazes. A student of Hamada Shōji, Shimaoka cultivated an aesthetic that incorporates aspects of mingei—Japanese folk-art objects. He exhibited his works in the U.S. and Europe and was designated a Living National Treasure in 1996, following in the footsteps of Hamada.

Clouds, large plate with trailed glaze, Shimaoka Tatsuzō (Japanese, 1919–2007), Stoneware with slip inlay and trailed glaze design, Japan

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