Studio Touya: Takuro and Hitomi Shibata
Takuro and Hitomi Shibata are Japanese potters and lived in Shigaraki which is one of the oldest pottery villages in Japan. Currently they reside in Seagrove, NC, which is the largest potters' community in the USA. They create ceramic works using wild clays and wood-firing techniques, and regularly participate in exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and symposiums to share their clay stories and connect with other ceramic artists, interesting cultures, and unique materials. Their first book, "Wild Clay" (published by Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK), was released in October 2022.
Takuro graduated from Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan with a Bachelor of Engineering in Applied Chemistry. His passion for ceramics led him to become an apprentice in Shigaraki. He is the director of STARworks Ceramics, where he researches North Carolina's wild clays and has gained national recognition as a ceramic artist and wild clay specialist. He became a member of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) in 2019.
Hitomi Shibata is a female ceramic artist who holds ceramic art degrees (B.Ed&M.Ed) from Okayama University, Japan. She lived and worked as a ceramic artist in Shigaraki. In 2001, she received a Rotary International scholarship that brought her to the USA, where she studied at UMass-Dartmouth. She works at a home studio where they built Japanese-style wood kilns, and she manages their pottery business, Studio "Touya (陶家)". She has been a member of the International Academy of Ceramics since 2017 and has participated in various national and international exhibitions.