THE MAKERS FACE2FACE EPISODE 6 – SIM CERAMICS

Staying in touch from our couch to yours #thepowerofsmall

Chatting to Simone from Sim Ceramics you can just hear the passion in her voice when she starts speaking about working with porcelain. She makes the most intricate, beautiful handcrafted jewellery pieces from porcelain and sterling silver. She also makes use of etching and the Japanese art of Nerikomi to enhance each piece, creating unpredictable and imperfect patterns. Have a look at her website to explore these unique jewellery pieces… We wanted to hear how she is doing during Lockdown and what she has been up to…

TLM: Tell us a little more about who you are, about your brand Sim Ceramics and how you got into doing what you’re doing?

Simone: I’m actually a brand designer and 2 years ago I fell ill. Friends of mine then bought me a ticket to London to go visit them for a month and I wanted to make them a gift. Up until then I was making sculptures, and bigger pieces, but I couldn’t do long sittings anymore and so I started making smaller things. So as my gift of appreciation, I made 2 little broaches. When she saw them she loved it and told me to take it further. She said I can’t stop now… So Sim Ceramics essentially started through the giving and making of a gift.

TLM: So do you now make jewellery fulltime?

Simone: Nope. I’m a brand designer by day and a jeweller by night. So it’s a little bit of a juggle.

TLM: Do you like the juggle between 2 jobs? Or would you rather be making jewellery full time?

Simone: I’m striving to make jewellery full time. There’s a sense of grounding – it’s just amazing to be working with porcelain. It just brings everything back to now – it’s an amazing process to be part of and that’s what I would like to do in the future more of… So, I’m hoping it will grow.

TLM: How has the Lockdown impacted you and your business(es)

Simone: From my jewellery side, it brought everything to a stop. The Linden Market is one of my biggest incomes. And with no market – there’s no income. The online side is still very quiet. I used to meet people at The Linden Market and they would become online clients – so I’m used to it being quiet in-between.

BUT I booked a ceramic residency for the last 2 weeks in April, in Cape Town, with Wendy Gers who is a phenomenal ceramicist. So, she changed the 2 week residency into a 25 week online residency. So now instead of only having 2 weeks, we get to spend the rest of the year with her. On a once a week basis. So in a way I think that was exactly, beautifully planned. How precious is that?

On the freelance designing side, things are starting to quieten down now. But we’re keeping our hopes and spirits up.

TLM: What do you do to make your days full?

Simone: Except for my online classes, we’re working on our long term ideas of where we currently are and where we would like to be. So it’s quite an inspiring time.

TLM: How has the Lockdown changed your approach to business?

Simone: I actually think the Lockdown has changed ME…. I think we tend to hustle a hell of a lot. And we tend to forget about ourselves. During the Lockdown I introduced a “Holy Hour” every day, where I do a lot of reflection, a lot of writing/journaling, sketching, reading some inspiring stories. We don’t often get time to sit down and recollect our thoughts and ourselves in the process and I actually realized how tired I am. So for me it’s a good, a nurturing phase. It’s surrendering. As you can’t plan for tomorrow, this is practising to stay in the now – and we all have issues with that…

TLM: What is the one thing that you would have liked to achieve by the time that Lockdown is over?

Simone: I haven’t really thought about it in that way… the plans that I do have is a little bit more long term, rather than just looking at after the Lockdown. I actually think just creating good habits that I can keep going when Lockdown is done. So I’m trying to create a new healthier lifestyle in a way.

TLM: What is the one thing that you miss most about life before Lockdown?

Simone: Swimming… I really want to go swim. I used to go swimming (for exercise) about 3/4 times a week. It’s a process that I just love because everything in my head clears. I’m missing my long walks too. Those are the things I miss most – and obviously my family.

TLM: What is your one piece of advice or hope for other entrepreneurs, makers, creators out there to get them through Lockdown and also through the rest of the year?

Simone: To reconnect with where your passion came from in the beginning. And reconnect with yourself. So basically inward motion… We cannot go outwards now anyway – we can only go inward, so we should make the most of that. And that will then spill over into everything – because the richer you are on your inside, the richer you are on the outside.