Rookwood Pottery introduced the painted mat glaze line is 1900. According to Rookwood ceramic engineer Stanley Burt, Albert Valentien created the first painted mat vase. The period of production for the painted mat line is believed to be from 1900 to 1911.
Anita Ellis’ Rookwood Pottery The Glaze Lines book describes the painted mat glaze line as “suggestive of flowing enamels, but matt texture.” Essentially the decorator would spray the background color on a bisque vase and allow the glaze to dry. The artist would then cut out the positive space of the design from the ground color and inlay the design using matte glaze colors with a soft bristle brush.
The production of Rookwood painted matt vases was difficult and time-consuming. Many times the glaze ran together resulting in a less than ideal finish product.
There are no unique marks for the painted mat glaze line; however, between 1900 and 1904, many Z-line vases were finished in the painted mat glaze. Many of these examples will have a Z added at the end of the three-digit shape number.
Recognized Rookwood artists in the painted mat glaze line include Harriet Wilcox, Olga Geneva Reed, Anna Marie Valentien, and Sarah Toohey.