Miya Kitamura was born into a family of traditional ceramic artists in Kyoto and was making ceramics from an early age. She studied ceramics in high school and college and was expected to take over the family business. However, Kitamura felt that ceramic making was 'not quite right' for her and took up glass making instead, where she has been able to draw on her knowledge of glazing.
She studied glass making at the Toyama Glass Institute where she worked as an assistant, and later at the glass department of the Kurashiki Art University. Kitamura also worked as a staff member at the Ezra Glass Studio and Toyama Glass Studio before she became an independent artist.
Kitamura's work has been widely exhibited at numerous national and international exhibitions. Her work has won many awards including the 1st prize at the Kanaya Machi Rakuichi awards in 2013. In 2017, Miya had a joint exhibition with her father in Osaka.
Kitamura values the utility of the items she makes, especially the shape and the weight, and if it feels good to touch and lift.
‘I think Japanese glass work has attention to unique details, which you can only discover when you look closely’, Miya says, ‘I want my pieces to be functional so that they can be used every day. I am happy if my items can make somebody’s life a little more beautiful, just in a simple action like drinking a glass of water, if you have a beautiful glass, it can become a better experience’.