Hitomi Shibata is a Japanese native ceramic artist in Seagrove, North Carolina, USA. Has Ceramic art degrees (Bachelor of Education & Master of Education in ceramic art) from Okayama University in Japan. She got a professional career in Shigaraki which is one of the oldest and biggest pottery villages in Japan. Rotary International scholarship brought her to the USA and became a special student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (CVPA Ceramics) in 2002. She moved to NC, USA in 2005, and set up her permanent pottery studio in Seagrove which is the biggest pottery town in the USA in 2007. She makes functional wood-fired pottery and sculptural ceramic work in her studio and fires wood kilns with her husband, Takuro Shibata. She was an artist in residence at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan (1996-1997), Cub Creek Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Appomattox, VA (2003), and North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC (2005-2007). She led workshops at: Peters Valley School of Craft (2017), The Art League in Alexandria (2019) and Penland School of Crafts (2019). In 2017, she became a member of International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) in Geneva, Switzerland. She has many ceramic exhibitions in Japan, USA, China and UK.
My ceramic works are made with local wild clays from North Carolina which has a long history of pottery making from native American and European Immigrant era to today. There are many interesting local materials and craft cultures here, and it reminds me of the time when I lived and worked in Shigaraki, Japan as a young potter.
Wood firing is also a very important process to complete my ceramic works and it gives a sense of sustainability, which I learned from Japanese pottery traditions. It’s a life-long experiment, and a fusion of ceramic art between Japanese and American cultures.