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Simonie Rego – In Pursuit of her Clay Modelling and Pottery Making Passion

Simonie is a young lady who graduated from the Goa College of Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and is currently working
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Simonie Rego
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Simonie is a young lady who graduated from the Goa College of Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and is currently working on clay modeling and clay pottery making. She belongs to a beautiful village called Arrosim in South Goa and did her preliminary education at St Thomas School, Cansaulim. Team Incredible Goa connected with her to find out more about her passion and work. 

Please tell us about your background and your education. 

I grew up in a lovely village called Arossim with my parents and my 4 siblings. I did my schooling at Saint Thomas High School, Cansaulim, and later my higher secondary at Carmel College for Women in Nuvem. In 2019, I graduated from Goa College of Art with a BFA degree in painting (specializing in murals). In 2020, I completed my diploma in interior design at JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Panjim.

Tell us about your entry into pottery and clay modeling, and also how you set up your own studio.  

I was interested in learning pottery since my college days. I used to visit Bicholim Industrial Estate to watch the potters at work. After completing college, I got into mural painting and canvas painting. I also took art classes at home. All this came to a halt due to covid. After the lockdown was lifted, I joined this one-month pottery course which turned into a 6-month course because I liked it so much. Initially, my timings were 9 am to 1 pm but I insisted on staying till 6 pm. After my mentor’s death, I took charge of the studio and I’m working from here to date. My own studio is getting ready at home so after the work on that is complete, I’ll start working from home.

How did you pick this up and how was the process of learning and understanding for you, WRT the art, and the studio?

I joined classes in the month of July last year. My learning was from scratch. The very first thing I learned about was the type of clay that is sourced locally and the clay that is imported. As I went on making mud, cleaning it, and then working with it I realized it’s not as easy as it looks. It was exhausting and satisfying at the same time.

As time passed by, I learned how to work with different types of clay on the wheel. After gaining enough knowledge about the wheel I purchased my own and set it up in the studio itself. I went on to study how a  kiln is built. This was a totally new subject to me.

After watching a lot of videos and taking sir’s help I went on to build my 1st electric kiln which was a success. When we test-fired one batch of mugs and it worked, I couldn’t believe that I made something like this!

Any challenges that you faced along the way? 

My entire course was a challenge in itself due to various reasons. The first challenge was the weather. When my classes began it was raining cats and dogs and with so much moisture in the air and the studio being so open, it was almost impossible to work. Everything I made was wilting in the humidity and the mud was getting soft but that did not stop me.

On the days that I couldn’t work with the wheel, I used to build things by hand, work on the detailing, and read or watch pottery-related videos. Also, while constructing the electric kiln, sir was sick so couldn’t sit with me all the time but he instructed me from his bed and I had a hard time following the instructions because I had no idea what a porcelain conductor was,  Or what a kantal wire was! I was working with things that I had never seen in my life. Using different kinds of tools and cutting those wires was exhausting.

Most of my learning was done this way whereby sir gave me instructions and I would try to follow them. It was tough and exhausting but it was all worth it. All these challenges that I faced only made me stronger and more confident.

What were some of the key events, programs, or workshops that you might have been a part of? How would you highlight your journey into this side of clay modeling, artistry, and pottery at a young age and what was the main goal for you?  

I took many short workshops like metal enameling, tie and dye, and many more, but pottery was something that I wanted to learn properly and from scratch. My main goal was to learn something new and work with it. I attended many workshops but this pottery workshop was like my calling. I worked very hard to learn this art.

What are your future plans?            

Right now, I’m concentrating on the work at hand and also working on new ideas and designs. I’m also working towards my new studio.

Any tips or messages for the people who are aspiring to enter this career field that you have taken up? 

It’s a beautiful job to do: exhausting, exciting, challenging, and satisfying all in one. There will be days where you just won’t get it right but relax. With a calm mind start again the next day but don’t give up. When you create new things with your mind and your hands, it’s a different type of beautiful feeling.

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