Designer of po-to-bo

Tomoko Shimada


Tomoko Shimada, Designer

Tomoko Shimada, Designer

Q1. What made you decide to establish your own brand?

I was fascinated by the material of pottery and that is why I started crafting. I make a shape of the pottery with soft clay, and bake it. Pottery turns solid after baking, but I always pay attention to leave the gentle touch. The name po-to-bo comes from the idea where I wanted to make pottery and porcelain as if compose a poetry, so I took the initials. It also means po from ippo ippo (in Japanese, step by step is 'ippo-ippo).

やきものの素材に惹かれ制作を開始しました。柔らかい土で形作り、焼くと固くなりますが、作った時の柔らかな雰囲気が残る作品を心掛けています。po-to-boは、pottery と porcelainをpoetry を詠むように作りたいと思い、頭文字のpoを取りました。また日本語の一歩一歩のpoの意味も含めています。(日本語の屋号は歩陶房です)


Q2. Please describe your production process.

I make a shape with soft clay, dry well, buscuit fire, glaze, and the finally fire it. I get the ideas of the design from daily life.



Q3. What made you interested in NY market?

I wanted people from various countries to take a look my products. Lately, more people from other countries take a look at my products. Their compliment always makes me happy. Sometimes they feel the same thing as Japanese customers, but other times they feel something different. I find it very interesting. I am so excited to exhibit my products to New Yorkers.



Q4. We find hair tie with porcelain very interesting. How did you come up with that idea?

Porcelain is a material of pure white. It's good for both bright colors and dark colors. The solid and transparent texture is also a fascinating aspect of porcelain. If you drop it on somewhere hard, it breaks, but if you handle with care, it doesn't change its color and lasts very long. It's a washable material so I thought it's very good for making accessories.



Q5. Lastly, please share some comments to customers at the ARCADE JAPAN.
   最後に、the ARCADE JAPANのお客様に一言お願いします。

I am so happy that people will see my products. Take it in your hand and feel the texture, and please enjoy the products of po-to-bo!





interview & text by Yusuke Yamauchi