Introduction to Katoshippo Works
Katoshippo Works is a pottery studio dedicated to the traditional craft of Owari Shippo.
The studio is located in Konomi-cho, which is close to Nagoya Castle and still retains an old-fashioned feel. Cloisonné has been made and sold here since 1947, and the Works celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2007.
After setbacks in the period of turmoil after World War II, Ryozo Kato, the founder, discovered Owari Shippo and was drawn at once to its beauty. He was particularly struck by the Akasuke style, which is rendered in a deep ruby red.
This encounter made Kato decide to start his own Owari Shippo production business. After working as an apprentice for a few years at an Owari Shippo studio in Shippo-cho in Aichi Prefecture (currently Ama-shi in Aichi Prefecture), he opened the current studio in Nishi-ku, Nagoya. Kato became a shippo-yaki craftsperson specializing in shippo using Akasuke glaze, known as a sukeya*1 in the industry.
Even now that the third generation has taken over, Katoshippo Works is creating art in the Akasuke style that its founder was devoted to, as well as a wide range of Owari Shippo products tailored for the present day.
*1. Owari Shippo is classified into three types based on the type of glazing (transparency): suke (transparent), gyoku (semi-transparent) and nyushoku (milky white).
Suke refers to a transparent glaze which enhances the beauty of the metal used as the base material. Gyoku refers to semi-transparent glazing, and this is the main type of Owari Shippo at present. A white base is made so that the base material is not revealed. Nyushoku is an opaque glaze; a colored glaze is often directly fired onto the base material. As with the gyoku style, it does not reveal the base material.
Since the production process for both suke and nyushoku is complex, few studios use these techniques, and they have become rare.
Owari Shippo, which can only be made using traditional techniques, is produced in a workshop that has been carefully maintained since Katoshippo was founded. The studio, which has been cared for by generations of craftspersons, may look cluttered at first glance, but everything is in the right place and the very air is serene.
This studio was an early adopter of the division of labor, resulting in a system that enables consistent production. A wide range of Owari Shippo products, from accessories and other small articles to large vases, can be produced with high quality and at reasonable prices.
Katoshippo Works makes the most of the techniques, experience and equipment it has built up over the years to actively develop original products in collaboration with other industries. The craftspersons here are always exploring new ways to create entirely new forms of Shippo.
The colors of the tools casually left in the polishing area resonate with one another beautifully.
In this striking workshop, beautiful light falls on the room’s shadows, redolent of tradition.
You are welcome to drop by and visit the store.
Please kindly contact us in advance if you wish to visit the workshop.
10-minute walk from Shonai-sori Station on the Tsurumai Line subway
Three minutes by car from the Shonai-sori exit off of the Nagoya Expressway
Information on the studio
Company name: Katoshippo Works
Representative: Yoshiro Kato
Business: Production and sale of shippo-yaki
Location: 4-31 Konomi-cho, Nishi-ku Nagoya-shi, Aichi Prefecture
Telephone number: +81-(0)52-531-1382
Store operating hours: 9am to 6pm
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays