Studio Touya; Takuro and Hitomi ShibataSeagrove, North Carolina
Studio Touya: Takuro and Hitomi Shibata
Takuro and Hitomi Takuro are Japanese natives, who lived and worked in Shigaraki prior to coming to the United States. Drawn to the large pottery community of North Carolina, Takuro and Hitomi settled their studio in Ashville in 2001. Currently, Hitomi is the director of STARworks Ceramics, and specializes in researching the wild North Carolina clays while Hitomi maintains her studio practice in their home studio. Together they specialize in building Japanese style wood kilns, and running their home studio pottery business, Studio Touya. Takuro and Hitomi are interested in making work that uses local wild clays, traditional wood firing techniques, and brushed or poured surface decoration. When not making work in their home studio, they attend ceramic conferences, workshops, and symposiums to talk about their experiences in the ceramics field. Their works can be seen in numerous private and public collections, and have been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions. Together they have written their first book, “Wild Clay” (Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK) which will be published in October 2022.
Takuro Shibata has a Bachelor of Engineering in applied chemistry from Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. His interest in ceramics led him to become an apprentice in Shigaraki. Takuto and Hitomi moved to Seagrove, NC after Takuro accepted the position as director of STARworks Ceramics in 2005. Since then, he has developed a national reputation as a ceramic artist and wild clay specialist. His work has been featured in many exhibitions, workshops, publications and conferences, both nationally and internationally. Since 2019, Hitomi has been a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.
Hitomi Shibata is a female ceramic artist in Seagrove, NC, with ceramic art degrees (B.Ed&M.Ed) from Okayama University, Japan. Prior to immigrating to the United States, she lived and worked as a ceramic artist in Shigaraki, one of the oldest pottery villages in Japan. Upon receiving the Rotary International Scholarship in 2001, Hitomi immigrated to the United States to study at UMass-Dartmouth. She has been a member of International Academy of Ceramics (since 2017) and Artaxis (2021). Here works have been shown in many national and international exhibitions.