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Artist: Hitomi Shibata

Hitomi Shibata, NORTH CAROLINA
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Hitomi Shibata is a Japanese ceramic artist based in Seagrove, North Carolina. She holds degrees in ceramic art from Okayama University in Japan and established her professional career in Shigaraki. In 2002, she received a Rotary International scholarship and became a special student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Hitomi and her husband, Takuro Shibata moved to NC in 2005 and set up a pottery studio. She creates functional pottery and sculptural ceramic work, utilizing North Carolina's wild clays and firing wood kilns. She has participated in artist-in-residence programs, led workshops, and presented her work at notable events. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. In addition, she co-wrote "Wild Clay" (Bloomsbury Publishing, UK), which was published in 2022.


Artist Statement

I create my ceramic works using wild, locally sourced clays from North Carolina, incorporating natural materials into my pieces. Wood firing is a sustainable and important process for me. While working with wild clays and wood firing can be intricate, I focus on every step of the process to ensure high-quality work.

My journey in ceramics began at Okayama University, and I established a professional career in Shigaraki, Japan before studying at UMass-Dartmouth and settling in Seagrove, NC. I enjoy making pottery in my studio and strive to improve my skills every day. Working with wild clays and wood firing has made me stronger and more resilient as a ceramic artist.


Educational Background and Degrees

2002               University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, College of Visual & Performing Arts, Ceramics, Special Student, Diploma, New Bedford, MA, USA

1994 - 1996   Okayama University, Master of Education: Fine Arts: Ceramics, Okayama, Japan

1990 - 1994   Okayama University, Bachelor of Education: Fine Arts and Crafts: Ceramics, Okayama, Japan


Professional Experience

2021               Selected as a member of Artaxis

2017               Selected as a member of International Academy of Ceramics (IAC), Geneva, Switzerland

2015               Built small wood kiln at Studio Touya, Seagrove, NC

2014               Set up a gallery at Studio Touya, Seagrove, NC

2009               Built Japanese style Anagama wood kiln at Studio Touya, Seagrove, NC

2008               Setup pottery studio, DBA Studio Touya, Seagrove, NC

2010-2014      Clay Studio Coordinator, STARworks Ceramics, Star, NC

2005-2007      Artist-in-Residence, North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC

2004-2005      Ceramic Research Assistant, Shigaraki Ceramic Research Institute, Shigaraki, Japan

2003               Residency Artist, Cub Creek Foundation for the Ceramics Arts, Appomattox, VA

1999-2001      Self-Employed Studio Potter, Shigaraki, Japan

1998-1999      Ceramic Research Assistant, Shigaraki Ceramic Research Institute, Shigaraki, Japan

1997-1998      Production potter at local pottery studio in Shigaraki, Japan

1996-1997      Residency Artist, Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shigaraki, Japan


Scholarship and Fellowship

2005                Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Grant for Woodfired Ceramics Research in England,  traveled to London, Devon, Wales and Stoke-on-Trent

2001                Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship



2022                “Art of State: Celebrating the Visual Art of North Carolina”, by Liza Roberts, UNC Press

2022                Co-author, “Wild Clay”, Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK

2022                “Telling Unique Stories” Studio Talk Issue  by Pottery Making Illustrated/ Ceramics Monthly

2020                “North Carolina Wood-fired Then & Now” Exhibition Catalog, by Barbara Wiedemann, NC Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC

2019                “Everyday Ordinary” Exhibition Catalog for NCECA Minneapolis Gallery Expo, Published by the Clay Studio

2017                “Controlled Burn” by Barbara Wiedemann, Published by North Carolina Pottery Center

2017                “Working Potters” Ceramics Monthly, June-Aug Issue, Ohio, USA

2005 - 2006     “A Potter’s Life in America” 12 articles, Touyu Ceramic Magazine, Tokyo, Japan

2003                “Cub Creek workshop at Longwood University with Takuro and Hitomi Shibata” written by Randy Edmonson, Studio Potter Network, USA


Membership and Affiliation

2023 - Present   Geology Mission in Lebanon, IAC and partnership with UNESCO, Committee member

2022 - Present   IAC Communication Commission, Committee Member

2021 - Present   Artaxis, Member, USA

2017 - Present   International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) Member, Geneva, Switzerland

2016 - Present   NCECA, Member, USA

2008 - Present   Seagrove Area Potters Association, Member, Seagrove, NC, USA


Workshop, Lecture and Conference

2023              Penland School of Craft, Spring Short Session, ”Making and Place”, Penland, NC

2023              “Shigaraki” Contemporary Artists on an Ancient Tradition, Panel, Online Webinar, hosted by Joan Mirvis Ltd, New York, NY

2022              Lecture at NC State University, School of Architecture + AIA Triangle, Raleigh, NC

2022              Kansas City  Clay Guild Teabowl National, Jury, Workshop and lecture, Kansas CIty, MO

2022              South Carolina Clay Conference “Embracing Flame”, Guest Artist, Newberry, SC

2022              Woodfire NC Conference, Panel Discussion, STARworks, Star, NC

2022              Summer Workshop, Session 1, Haystack School of Craft, Deer Isle, ME

2022              NCECA Sacramento, Panel Discussion “ Explorations in Art and Material Science”

2021              Three Potters Symposium, The Bascom, Highlands, NC

2021              NCECA Virtual, Panel Discussion, “Seagrove Clay: Cross-Cultural Traditions”

2019              Wild Clay workshop, Summer Session 7, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC

2019              Japanese Pottery workshop, The Art League, Alexandria, VA

2017              Wood Firing Workshop, Peters Valley School of Craft, Layton, NJ

2017              NCECA Portland, Blinc20/20  “Studio Touya: Wood-fired Japanese Pottery with wild clays in Seagrove, NC”

2007              Ceramic Workshop & Lecture, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

2006              Ceramic Workshop & Lecture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

2003              Ceramic Workshop & Lecture, Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Farmville, VA

2003              Ceramic Workshop & Lecture, Cub CreekStudio, Appomattox, VA

2002              Ceramic Workshop & Lecture, Longwood University, Farmville, VA


Award, Selected Exhibition and Juried Competition

2022              Invitational Exhibition “EnVision” at Woodfire NC Conference, STARworks NC, Star, NC

2022              National Teapot Exhibition “STEEP” at Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton, NJ

2021- 2022    Juried Exhibition, “2021 International Coffee Cup Competition”, New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan

2021              Juried Exhibition “A Taste of Home” Juried by Julia Galloway, Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY

2021              Juried Exhibition “Women of Woodfire 2021” Juried by Careen Stoll and Lindsay Oesterritter, Eutectic Gallery, Portland, OR

2021              Juried Ceramic Exhibition “Form and Function” Juried by Christa Asad, Applied Contemporary Gallery, Oakland, CA

2019              Juried Ceramic Competition, “the 1st World Ceramic Teapot Art Competition”, Received an Award of Honor, Yixing, China

2019              Juried Exhibition, “Art of Clay National” Juried by Doug Fitch, North Carolina Pottery Center, Seagrove, NC

2018              International Academy of Ceramics Juried Exhibition, “New Orientalia: Functionality, Spirituality, Diversity” New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

2018              Juried Exhibition, “The Clay Studio National”, Juried by Beth Ann Gerstein, Executive Director of the American Museum of Ceramic Art, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2018              Juried Exhibition, “Small Favors”, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2017              The Cup Show: The Hudgens 2nd National Juried & Invitational Cup Exhibition, Received Cup award, Duluth, GA, USA

2016              Juried Exhibition, the 24th Strictly Functional Pottery National, Received the Best Teapot Award, Lancaster, PA, USA

1996              Juried Exhibition, Japan Kogei Association, Chugoku region, Selected, Okayama, Japan


And many more exhibitions and shows in the US, Japan, Asia and Europe.

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