Slipware is a pottery that is made by drawing a pattern with creamy mud (slip) made by adding water to the soil, and then applying glaze to it, which was a practical vessel used as a pie plate especially in England from the 18th century onward, developed in its own unique way, but was long neglected. However, the slipware was revived in Japan, capturing the hearts of Soetsu Yanagi and other founders of the Mingei art movement who saw it. Masaaki Shibata is Japan’s leading expert on slipware, who produces pottery in Tamba, one of the six oldest kilns in Japan. He found that Tamba ware of the Edo period had a technique using black and white decorative clay, then, he arrived at a technique to reproduce English-style slipware and created his own “ash-glazed slipware” in Tamba. In addition to the interior decorations for Rakudo-An, he has also created original dishes and cups for the restaurant “il clima”.
Masaaki SHIBATA（1948- ）
While a student in the Department of Industrial Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, he encountered the world of “Mingei” and was drawn into the profound fascination of “old Tamba pottery”. For his graduation thesis, he wrote “A Chemical Study of Old Tamba” on the theme of old Tamba pottery using a chemical approach, and the deeper he studied, the more fascinated he became, and finally, after graduating from university, he studied under potter Kazutaka Ikuta in Tamba-Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, the hometown of old Tamba ware, for four years, and in 1975, he became independent. He built a climbing kiln that had longed for. A few years later, he got his hands on “slipware,” an old English pottery that he had admired since he was a student, and it changed the course of his life as a potter. He contributed to the popularization of the slipware technique and inspired many potters to create their own pottery. Worked on research on “slipware,” which was little known in Japan at the time. He was instrumental in organizing the 2003 exhibition “The Beauty of Old British Ceramics and Slipware” (The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Osaka, Toyota city folk crafts museum, and The Japan Folk Crafts Museum,Tokyo). He produced the catalog of the British slipware for the first time in the world, and also produced a video containing the history and production process of the slipware. He contributed to the widespread use of the slipware technique in the following years and inspired many ceramic artists to create their own works. In 2001 Exhibited at the National Crafts Exhibition in Blackwell, England, and participated as a lecturer at the seminar. At Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi, Hankyu Umeda, and many other private exhibitions.