Takuro and Hitomi Shibata are two young potters who came to North Carolina from their native village of Shigaraki, Japan, where pottery had been thrown and fired for five centuries. They settled in the Seagrove pottery area, famed for its Michfield clay. They lived in a 600 SF cottage with their two young boys, next door to their studios and pottery kiln. Every cubic inch of the tiny, wood stove heated cottage was used for something: storing, working, cooking or eating. Chickens rested under the house, tomatoes and eggplant grew in the garden.
The Shibata's thrifty, simple way of living stole our hearts. We succeeded in making their new 1700 SF home as space efficient as their old house and brought sunlight and fresh air into every room. Hitomi made the tiles for the house, friends pitched in to help build, and the construction cost was just under $90.00/SF.
Kiln firing is a great seasonal and social event in the Seagrove pottery area. The Shibata’s now invite their friends to sit with them on their new porch to watch the smoke gently rise from the kiln.