This hand-thrown mushroom-shaped ikebana vase is one of my very favorite objects ever, a wonderfully unusual, whimsical yet functional sculpture that could inspire and host all sorts of fantastic ikebana arrangements. Only recently did I learn--through my mother's sleuthing of pottery marks--that it was made by Michael Cohen, a studio potter born in Boston in 1936, educated at Mass Art, and currently based in Amherst, Mass, where he continues to have a studio. And I learned that a mushroom very similar to this one, made in 1964, is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Cohen's work is also included in the collections of deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Museum of Arts and Design, NY; Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among many others. If you are curious, here's a link to an interview conducted in 2001 by Gerry Williams, for the Archives of American Art’s Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America: http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-michael-cohen-11754.
I purchased the piece from the estate of a dancer/choreographer in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, whose collection included a wealth of notable mid-century art, craft and design objects.
It is in excellent condition. 8.5ʺ at widest diameter × 6ʺ tall.