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Studio Visit with Alumna Artist Ritsuko Hirai

Ritsuko Hirai in her San Francisco workspace.

Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand, Ritsuko Hirai mastered her skills in printmaking and textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design. Ritsuko graduated from Pomfret in 1998 and went on to earn degrees from both RISD and FIT in New York. Her artistic range is endless. She engages with many mediums, including textile and fabric design, water color painting, wallpaper design, knitting and weaving, screen printing, sewing, and illustration, (often with a stick dipped into a water-based solution).

Ritsuko's Ready-to-Wear Collection: Mohair & Linen scarf.

I don't think I would have gotten into stick painting if it hadn't been for Mr. Brewster.

Screen Printed Canvas Tote Bag.

She first started getting into painting with a stick or twig when she was a student under David Brewster at Pomfret. She also uses woodblocks to create patterns from her illustrations, shown above on her oversized tote.

Ritsuko lives with her husband, Mike and dog, Rubicon in the Dogpatch in San Francisco. She and Mike met at RISD years ago and now are both working artists, sharing a studio space in the Bayview. Ritsuko is a contributing artist for the upcoming Alumni/ae Art Show later this month. Check out her amazing art on her website:

Fabrics designed and woven by Ritsuko.
Stick Painting Screen Print Tee with Sea Otter and Cat.
Woodblock Print
Books for Inspiration.
Sewing Machine.
Rubicon is the perfect studio dog.

She currently works with domestic and international clients from her studio in San Francisco. You can also follow Ritsuko on Instagram and Pinterest. Thank you, Ritsuko and Rubi for spending the afternoon with us!


Ritsuko with two signed alpaca prints that she has donated to the art show.

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