Hitomi Shibata

Artist Statement

My ceramic works are made from wild, local clays in North Carolina and it’s really important for me to use materials from nature. Wood firing is also an important process to complete my work and it gives a sustainable energy into my work. It’s a very slow process to use wild clays and to work on wood firings, but I focus on every process and quality of my ceramic work. 

I established my professional career in Shigaraki which is an old pottery village in Japan, and now I live in Seagrove, NC which is the biggest pottery community in the US. My clay path hasn’t been so easy but taking a long way gave me lots of lessons and opportunities in many places. 

To me, pottery making is about materials, processes, tests and work ethics. Over 30 years of my experience in ceramics, I chose what I really like and feel joy, and I believe working on wild clays and wood firings make my works stronger and more resilient.


Hitomi Shibata is a Japanese native ceramic artist in Seagrove, North Carolina, USA. Has Ceramic art degrees (B.Ed & M.Ed in Fine Art and Craft) from Okayama University in Japan. She learned and worked as a potter in Shigaraki which is one of the oldest 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. She makes functional wood-fired pottery and sculptural ceramic work from NC wild clays, and fires wood kilns with her husband, Takuro Shibata. 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). She was selected as a member of International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017. She has many ceramic exhibitions and pottery shows in Japan, USA, China and UK.