Shiho Murota, Satsuma Artist

Micro-painting, Attention to Detail

Shiho is an award-winning fine-detail ceramic painting artist living in Kagoshima, in the region formerly known as the Satsuma domain. After 10 years working at a traditional satsuma-ware kiln studio, she became inspired by antique buttons featured in a magazine. Having studied under accomplished masters, she was selected as the Satsuma delegate for the cultural art program in Florence, Italy. She traveled to the US to introduce her artistry at button conventions. Shiho is a mother of two boys and a member of the National Button Society.

Shown below is a typical process for micro-hand-painting on satsuma buttons locally made in the Satsuma region of Japan.

1. button blank of satsuma pottery
2. Ink drawing of a traditional design motif
3. Free-hand outlines of oil-based Gold or platinum with saber brush
4. Color glaze pigments are hand-ground in mortar. Colors are applied between gold outlines
5. Firing for 4 hours at 750C
6. Re-painting and color adjustment; repeat firings
7. Additional hand-application of gold decorations, final 3-hour firing at 620C
8. Polished finish