What is Otagiri?
Otagiri Mercentile Company / Otagiri Manufacturing Company (aka OMC), imported handcrafted ceramics made in Japan starting in the late 1950's. Their ceramics were widely sold in West Coast shops and better department stores. They quickly gained noted popularity by the mid 1960's for their unexpected quality and design.
Later on, OMC began manufacturing products for other organizations like the San Francisco Music Box Company and Gibson Greetings. They would contract noted artists like Bob Harrison, Wendy Morgan and Tom Taylor, who were routinely hired to design Otagiri products. Finally in 1980, OMC decided it was time to register as a trademark in the US. Eventually in 1994, Otagiri was sold and manufacturing of ceramics was discontinued shortly thereafter.
As Otagiri items become more scarce, their demand and collectibility continues to grow amongst designers, consumers and collectors alike. This is in part due to the fact that with each vase, sculpture, dish or teak accessory, you will find its individual character and signature of the person who finished it by hand.