Nobue Ibaraki studied fashion design at Bunka Fashion College and Ceramic Design at Tajimi Pottery Design And Technical Center. Born in Niigata, Japan, Ibraki has lived and worked in Tochigi since 2015, where she produces work that is unique and very distinctive.
Ibaraki’s hand-built earthenware works are made using clay from Tajimi, near Kyushu volcano. The clay and natural glazes contain minerals, cobalt, copper and other metal oxides, which chemically react during firing, creating extraordinary metallic-looking surfaces evocative of buried treasure. Curves and circles are integral to Ibaraki’s vessels, which display a concern with a balance in the void and the solid.
Located in Sano City, Japan, Ibaraki forms her clay pots, pitchers and vases within her home workshop. Informed by her Japanese fashion and ceramic design education and influenced by her love of ancient Persian and Greek art, Ibaraki blends concepts both old and new.
The imperfect, artifact-like style of her work stems from a preference to abandon the potter’s wheel and instead shape her clay completely by hand. Colored in earthy, subdued tones, the textured, raw matte finishes of Ibaraki’s pieces harken to ancient ceramic relics. These ties to human history result in age-old motifs crafted within the knowledge of contemporary design.