Embracing Flame -Woodfire SC
Moving Clay Forward Together
The mission of the Newberry Arts Center in creating the South Carolina Clay Conference; Moving Clay Forward, is to bring together potters and clay artists in SC and the surrounding region for education, evaluation and celebration of the many techniques to which clay lends itself. The three-day annual South Carolina Clay Conference aims by design to recognize and reveal to its attendees the influences and heritage of clay in South Carolina, as well as to encourage ongoing conversations about the future of clay in the region in which we live.
Photo by Robert Bryant
Takuro Shibata is a ceramic artist who is originally from Japan. His studio is based in Seagrove, North Carolina, USA. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Applied Chemistry from Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. His interest in ceramics led him to become an apprentice at a local pottery studio “Tanikan Pottery” in Shigaraki, Japan in 1997. He and his wife, Hitomi Shibata first visited Seagrove, NC in 2003, and returned to the Seagrove area at the time Takuro accepted a position as the director of STARworks Ceramics in 2005. They established Studio Touya in Seagrove in 2007 and built an Anagama wood kiln. Takuro has developed a national reputation as a studio potter and as a wild clay specialist. His ceramic work and background story was prominently featured in the May 2017 issue of Ceramics Monthly magazine. He is a member of International Academy of Ceramics (IAC).
Materials and playful experiment, that is about my work in functional pottery forms.
I am especially interested in jar forms. Good jar forms have a richness of emotion or spirit. It has a functionality to hold things but also a strong presence in space. I focus on the outlines of the form. To emphasize it, I make three sided triangular jar forms which are the simplest form but have the true essence. Each side has its own shape, the form will change depending on where you look at it from.
I prefer to use local materials as much as possible because it is unique and interesting for me to find materials around me and testing to see how I can use them. When I test it especially in high temperature wood firing, I always discover something. It inspires me to create new work.
Hitomi Shibata is a Japanese native, female ceramic artist in Seagrove, North Carolina. She 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 (2017). She has many ceramic exhibitions and pottery shows in Japan, USA, China and UK.
Lindsay Oesterritter is currently a full-time studio potter in Manassas Virginia. She is also a Co-Founder and Organizer of National Clay Week and member and Co-Founder of Objective Clay, two online organizations aimed at building and educating the ceramics community. She is an active board member of Studio Potter and co-organizer of Southern Crossing Pottery Festival held in her hometown of Louisville KY. In 2020 she published her first book, Mastering Kilns & Firing. She earned her MFA from Utah State University in Logan Utah. She held the position of Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Western Kentucky University (2009-2015) and earned Associate Professor in 2015. Lindsay had the fortune to be a resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg and in Australia at Strathnairn Arts Association. She has had the opportunity to lead workshops, curate exhibitions, lecture and exhibit nationally and internationally and is continually inspired by the craft community.
My work is inspired by the inseparable relationship between time and place, and form and surface.
River stones, worn leather, and antique industrial objects are all uniquely changed by the environment in which they exist. When I work with clay I convey a similar narration of time and place. I work in an intentionally straightforward manner, choosing the clay and combination of processes for the marks that will be left behind. The processes of making are recorded on the surface of the object and begin to reveal the qualities of the material and tell a visual story.
I utilize the wood firing process and reduction cool techniques to continue to highlight form and surface variations, and reference the slow and continuous passage of time. Through wood firing, the form and surface become unique to the singular object.
Meet & Greet
Q & A Session
Newberry's official history museum is located right off Main Street. This new addition to Newberry features pieces and stories that depict our local history.
During SCCC 2020 there will be a display of boneyard pottery from past conferences!
The Newberry Opera House hosts many performances each year. This historic landmark has been a staple to our little community for many years. On the Thursday before the SC Clay Conference (February 27th) the Opera House will host FIREFLIES: A Dave the Potter Interactive Story. This program begins at 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by: The University of South Carolina's McKissick Museum, The Newberry Opera House, and The SCClayCon.
Carter & Holmes produces and sells premium orchids and draws in locals and visitors alike. They are located just outside the city of Newberry, where they welcome visitors to shop and view their greenhouses.
The Japanese Gardens is a local landmark in Newberry and is a short walk from downtown Newberry. While the garden is small, the atmosphere provides a large amount of peace and tranquility to the visitor.
There are many other places to visit and spend time in Newberry and surrounding area. These places include, but are not limited, to the Oakland Tennis Center, the Newberry Country Club, the Mid-Carolina Country Club, Lake Murray and many others. Click the link to learn more about these places.
The Firehouse Conference Center sits beside the
Newberry Opera House in historic downtown Newberry.
This building, once used as the district fire station, is now
used as an event space for meetings, conferences,
weddings and more. The conference center is where
the SC Clay Con is held annually. It is only a short
walking distance from the Newberry Arts Center,
where the pottery sale is held. For more information
please click the above link to visit their website.
The Newberry Arts Center (NAC) is located in the Old
Newberry Hotel. The Arts Center showcases local
artwork for sale and hosts many classes such as
pottery, painting, afternoon art for kids and more. The SC
Clay Con holds the annual pottery sale in this space and
is only a short walking distance from the Firehouse
Conference Center. For more information on NAC, please
click the above link to visit their website.
The Old Newberry Hotel is located in the heart of
Historic downtown Newberry. Recently renovated, it is the
home of the Newberry Arts Center, apartments, short-
term rental space, a large event space, offices and
more. The SCCC 2020 will hold the Saturday evening
dinner in the event space of the hotel. For more
information on the Old Newberry Hotel, please click
the above link to visit their website.