Recap: September Clay Club with Hitomi and Takuro Shibata at In Tandem Gallery

Thanks to Hitomi and Takuro Shibata for a super interesting Clay Club program, and to Silvia Ferrari-Palmer for hosting us at In Tandem Gallery!

Hitomi and Takuro shared a slide presentation and talked about their pottery and how they ended up in North Carolina. Hitomi and Takuro both established ceramic careers in Shigaraki, Japan before coming to the US in 2001. They came to ceramics through very different paths: Hitomi from a ceramic arts background and Takuro from a non-arts engineering background. Today they share a studio, Studio Touya, in Seagrove, North Carolina, focused on wood-firing. They told us "Touya" means "pottery house" in Japanese. Check out their work on their website,

Takuro is the director of STARworks Ceramics in Star, North Carolina, near Seagrove. STARworks is "an arts-centered work community that promotes community and economic development by providing outstanding artistic educational programs and business ventures." In addition to STARworks Ceramics, STARworks businesses include STARworks Glass, STARworks Clay Studio, and Wet Dog Glass. Wet Dog Glass has developed an electric reduction kiln - in the presentation, Takuro showed a similar kiln in Japan and the Wet Dog Glass version. (You can see the results of the first firing of the Wet Dog Glass electric reduction kiln here:

Takuro gave us a video tour of STARworks Ceramics showing how the clay bodies are prepared. STARworks uses North Carolina clays to make clay bodies. Takuro brought samples of STARworks clay bodies for folks to try - a number of clubbers took advantage of this generous offer. I hope some of you will consider sharing your results!

Kent McLaughlin and Andy Palmer are talking about putting in a group order for STARworks clay - I'll post more details about this, but if you think you might be interested, let one of them or me know.

Thanks again to Hitomi, Takuro and Silvia, and to everyone - including those who ended up on the Shane Mickey overflow deck next door - who came!