Those delicate, wet hands are at work with the right type of clay as she kneads it. Anchoring it on the middle of the potter’s wheel, she uses her gentle hands to shape it. And, guess what, it takes a lot of patience, perseverance and continuous practice – and definitely, skilled hands.
You can literally watch her working with those wet hands, constantly applying pressure to the sides of the clay lump, as if trying to give it the shape of a cone. And then, with the increase in speed, she tries to form a gap in between which will eventually form the wide-open area of the bowl.
Then, her concentration shifts to the walls of the pot. Using both her wet hands, she tries to craft it into the shape she desires, keeping a check on the width and height, as well. And once satisfied with the task worked upon, she uses a wire to dislodge her new creation — a pot.
A little later, she keeps her product to dry. Once it is semi-hard, she works upon it all over again. And this time, it’s her imagination running wild and creating her own designer cut holes. She marks each design and sits down to cut it carefully and intricately. As she cuts, you can figure out creative flowers and leaves on the pot.
Finally, she places them all in the kiln to be fired and baked. Once cooled, they are varnished, considering it to be the final production for an exhibition and sale. The pots may appear to be factory made, but they are not! Instead, they are all purely handcrafted products emerging from delicate, artistic hands.
BEHIND THE ART
Meet 25-year-old Simonie Rego, who hails from Arossim-Cansaulim, in South Goa. In 2019, she graduated in Fine Arts after rigorous training in the Goa College of Art, Panjim, for 4 long years, followed by a one-year diploma in interior designing at J D Institute of Fashion Technology, in Panjim, in 2020.
When asked what inspired her to get into pottery. “During the lockdown, I had some time and so it was utilized to develop a new skill that I always had a liking for,” Simonie shares in a friendly tone.
A few years ago, Simonie happened to meet the late Valentino Gasper, from Verna, for a workshop on stained glass. “Then again, last year, it was an encounter for pottery classes. He trained me for 6 months, instilling in me all the intricacies involved in the making of varied clay pots. Everything I know right now, from clay to the kiln, I owe it to my mentor and teacher,” she proudly says.
Asked why she chose these works, Simonie said that she loves small and intricate work and would love to take up pottery as her profession. She confesses that she is an artist first and so creativity flows, sitting down to think deeply and charge according to the amount of energy, time and originality of the piece she is working upon.
Unveiling that she had a liking for pottery since her college days, but never acted upon it, Simonie informed that, presently, her studio ‘Centre Punch’ is in Verna and will be moving to Arossim shortly. Acquiring all the required raw materials from Bicholim and Verna, she said that she mostly works on planters, luminaries and lampshades and a little bit of stained glass.
‘Centre Punch’, a pottery exhibition by Simonie Rego will be on show from July 28- July 30 from 10.30 am onwards at Quadro Art Gallery, Sapana Gardens, Chogm Road, Porvorim. For more details, check out https://www.facebook.com/quadrolorenz/