Best Of 2017

Best Deco Décor Throwback: Rookwood Pottery Company

Best Deco Décor Throwback

Founded in 1880 by Maria Longworth Nichols, the Rookwood Pottery Company was the first female-owned manufacturing company in the nation. Taking inspiration from Japanese designs she saw at Philadelphia’s Centennial Exhibition, Nichols built her company in a renovated schoolhouse with a team of potters, craftspeople, students and glaze chemists, encouraging them to exchange ideas, innovations and creative concepts in a sort of artists’ colony. More than a century later, Rookwood returns to its roots by reissuing classic molds, like its Abel Bear figurine or the 1920 Shirayamadani candlestick set. Designed by Tokyo-born Rookwood artist Kataro Shirayamandani, the holder is a simple elongated polyhedron with feet and a rounded cap — like a truncated base of the Eiffel Tower — decorated with almost royal natural markings. Is the relief a scepter? Or a budding tree branch? Either way, it recalls a golden design era in America and the Japanese influence of classic Rookwood.Rookwood Pottery retail store, 1209 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-579-1209, rookwood.com.