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Maeda Masahiro

Maeda Masahiro
bio pt 1

Born 1948, Kyoto, Japan

Initially a painter, Maeda turned to clay and became a graduate student under two Living National Treasures, Fujimoto Nōdo (1919-92) and Tamura Kōichi (1918-1987) at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Departing from tradition, he thickly applies matte Western overglaze enamels in captivating combinations of colorful and subdued tonalities to his functional porcelain vessels, achieving a uniquely painterly surface. Drawing inspiration from a broad variety of sources, from owls to linear textiles, Maeda is celebrated for both his enticing pictorial and abstract motifs. Maeda specializes in iro-e kinginsai (painted color decoration with gold and silver) technique, which was originally developed in Song China (10-12th centuries CE) and then imported to Japan in the 17th century. After the bisque firing, the ware is re-fired multiple times with a variety of color glazes.  Lastly, gold and/or silver are applied and the vessel is fired again at an even lower temperature. Maeda’s ceramics are wildly popular in Japan and are collected both in the US and Europe.

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