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Masaaki Shibata

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Masaaki Shibata
Contemporary Ceramist
Japanese, b. 1950
Masaaki Shibata was born in 1950 in Tokoname, Aichi prefecture, Japan. He followed family tradition and became a potter; his family has been known for its wood-fired stonware for generations. Shibata worked in the studio of Jun Kaneko in 1973, and spent a year working in the United States in 1973-1974. After this, he returned to his family studio in Japan and continued to work as a studio potter.
His work reflects universal symbols (clocks, hammers), through unusual material and treatment. "Local gray stoneware clay is fired in a "climbing" kiln (the old-style kiln that is built in a series of chambers that climb, one after the other, up the slope of a hill and create a strong natural draft for the flames and smoke), to a very high temperature (more than 2300ยบ F). The pine wood fuel that is used burns with a great deal of flying ash, and this pine ash, at the peak of the firing, deposits on exposed surfaces of the pieces and forms a primitive glaze, like a variegated skin fused with the clay. This is perhaps the oldest and most traditional ceramic glazing method in Japan. and has been used by Shibata's family for many generations. In Tokoname, the Shibatas are famous for teapots of this stoneware, very natural and reserved in character." (Jun Kaneko, 1970)

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