Hitomi Shibata’s works are made from natural clays and it’s really important for her to use materials from nature. Wood firing is also an important process to complete her works and it gives a sustainable energy and life into her works. She started learning ceramic art in Okayama, Japan when she was a college student, and after graduation she moved to Shigaraki which is one of the oldest Japanese pottery town. Hitomi lived & established her skill and knowledge as a professional potter in Shigaraki. She was fortunate to receive a scholarship by Rotary International to come to USA to learn American ceramics in 2001. Hitomi lives in Seagrove, North Carolina which is the most active pottery community in USA, and she enjoys making pots in her studio. She does wood firings with her husband, Takuro Shibata in their Anagama plus chamber kiln that they built in 2009. She wants to make beautiful pots from natural materials and elements, and hope people will love, hold, and use them functionally in daily life.
Takuro Shibata is a ceramic artist who is originally from Japan. His studio is based in Seagrove, NC which is one of the biggest pottery communities in North Carolina, USA. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. His interest in ceramics led him to become an apprentice at the local pottery studio “Tanikan Pottery” in Shigaraki, Japan in 1997. He and his wife Hitomi first visited Seagrove, NC in 2003 and returned to the Seagrove area two years later when Takuro accepted a position as the director of STARworks Ceramics. In 2007, they established Studio Touya in Seagrove and built a Shigaraki style Anagama kiln. Takuro has developed a national reputation as a studio potter and as a wild clay specialist. His ceramic work at Studio Touya was prominently featured in the May 2017 issue of Ceramics Monthly magazine.