ABOUT: KATAGAMI
  • The new “VITRUV” service form features subtly eye-catching relief patterns, which depict graphic designs and bring a little something extra to the sleek, chic dinnerware set. With the aptly named “Graphic” styles, Meissen’s artists have drawn from traditional ornamentation and adapted it for the medium of porcelain, thus making the ancient art form of “katagami” part of their own tradition of innovative finishes. But what is katagami?

    Comprising “kata” meaning cutting out or engraving and “kami” which translates as paper, Katagami (adjusted with a G for phonetic reasons) is an age-old Japanese craft. Specifically that of making stencils from paper, to be used for fabric dyeing and printing purposes. It boasts huge cultural importance within Japan, but its value and adoration are not restricted to the country’s borders. Indeed, in the 19th century the first print samples made it to Europe. Today, with over 15,000 katagami patterns, the Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden has the largest stock in the world.
"The Jugendstil art movement was inspired largely by Japonism, so it makes sense that katagami saw such admiration in Germany."
  • It wasn’t before long that the abstract, geometric designs of the various katagami patterns that had arrived in the West, established a new aesthetic within artisanal and artistic domains. The Jugendstil art movement was inspired largely by Japonism, so it makes sense that katagami saw such adoration in Germany.

    Cut to 2019 and MEISSEN continues to draw from the established aesthetics of East Asia, incorporating this katagami-inspired relief work serving as an ode to the ancient and long-admired tradition. The crisp cleanness of the VITRUV designs make for the perfect canvas for stencil-esque surface detailing. To form the basis of each individual piece, a negative of the relief is engraved into a plaster core. The pieces are formed within the moulds, and touched up by hand so as to ensure the reliefs’ refined finish. A nod to the manufactory’s lasting love for Japanese aesthetic influence, the Graphic elements of the VITRUV form are emblematic of Meissen’s essence – a truly timeless, modern opulence.