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Naoko Teruya

What clay body do you use?

" I usually use stoneware especially dark clay like balcones dark and black mountain. And occasionally I use porcelain. "

Primary forming method?

"I like both hand-building and wheel throwing. "

Primary firing temperature?

"I like cone 10 reduction firing and also oxidation mid firing."

Favorite surface treatment?

"My favorite surface is matte surface, like non-glazed surface. Even when I use a glaze I tried to make natural earthy surface. "

Favorite Tools?

"I like the wheel but I usually alter them after throwing."

Describe your studio environment.

"I prefer to working alone with listening to my favorite music. I’m lucky to have my own studio in my house. So it takes me to the different world easily. "

How/Where do you market and sell your artwork?

"I sell at my studio and my website at"

What sparks your creativity? What drives you to work with clay?

""What drives me to work with clay” is when I touched clay first time, I thought I could make anything with clay! That was the start. Of course, it was wrong. But somehow I found it fun in the processes and now I enjoy challenging. "              

 Did you come to ceramics from a different career? Tell us about your journey to a ceramics career.

"I have a college degree of literature in Japan. I didn’t go to art school and I’ve never touched clay until I came to the US. My ceramic journey began in Boston where I moved to the US first time. At that time I didn’t bring a lot of kitchen stuff from Japan. I needed some bowls and plates for Japanese food I cooked. Then I found the Radcliffe College Ceramic Studio and touched the clay for the first time there. I focused on making functional work. I was fascinated by the clay there. Since then I have gotten into creating a shape with clay to express my taste and what I feel. "

How have you have taken your experience as a well-established maker in the field and passed that knowledge along to your other artists?

"I’ve been learning at so many places including in Japan. And I noticed that every artist teaches me in a different way. Even just throwing is different. Learning is fun and never ending."

    What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow maker, mentor, or teacher?

      I was told by many teachers that I should draw pictures and make a plan what I am going to make before starting. I usually start without any solid idea, and ask the clay what I want to be… but these advices actually work. Making up my mind and drawing the shape I plan really help and guide me where I want to go."

      Website URL and other social media platforms:


      I was born in Sapporo and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. I had never touched clay in Japan. My ceramic journey began in Boston in 1992. When I first came to the US in 1989 I didn’t bring any bowls and plates and I couldn’t find them for Japanese food at that time. I decided to make them by myself and found the Radcliffe College Ceramic Studio. I focused on making functional work by both the wheel and hand-built. Since then I moved around almost every 2 to 3 years, back and forth to Japan, Philadelphia, and Chicago, I took several local ceramic classes and community college class of ceramics. I moved to Houston and started to take a class of Glassell School in 2002. I received Merit Award from Glassell School in 2018.


        PO Box 667401
        Houston, TX 77266

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