Katsumata Chieko is one of a growing number of celebrated Japanese ceramists who first built a following outside Japan, and then, in a sense, were "reintroduced" to the Japanese market on the wave of their international recognition.
This is characteristic of a new international trend in Japanese ceramics in the twenty-first century, as an increasing number of Japanese artists test foreign markets. Aside from the fact that Katsumata chose to build her kiln in Kyoto, a city rich in both tradition and the avant-garde, she had virtually no connection with the domestic ceramic scene of Japan.
Katsumata is known for her interest in plant life, and her works are often inspired by floral and vegetal forms. Her electric hues are made from clay slip colored with metallic dyes and pigments and applied using a brush and filtering gauze after a work is initially bisque-fired. With multiple firings, depths of color and the metallic patina are amplified.
Katsumata was born in Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture, in 1950. She Lives and works in Kyoto and has exhibited extensively both in and outside of Japan, including France, Holland and the US.