Simonie Rego from Arossim used the pandemic to create beautiful pots from clay and held her first solo exhibition, Centre Punch, at the Quadro Gallery recently.
Having completed her schooling from St Thomas High School and higher secondary from Carmel College, Nuvem, Simonie graduated with a degree in Fine Arts. Further she has done a course in interior design, and would take commissions of canvas paintings and murals along with conducting art classes for students at home.
When attending a stained glass workshop, Simonie met Late Valentino Gaspar, a ceramic and terracotta artist who ran Red Earth Pottery Studio in Verna. Simonie would often attend pottery workshops as it was something that caught her fancy and she wanted to learn more about it. She used to visit the Bicholim Industrial Estate with her friends to see the potters at work and was intrigued as to how they would shape the clay with their bare hands.
Simonie did not know any potters in the South who were willing to teach her the skill and got in touch with Late Valentino who offered to teach her and thus a friendship was born. He thought her everything, right up from using the wheel to building the kiln. Simonie learnt the art of pottery from scratch. From digging the mud, cleaning it by passing it through a certain kind of mesh, getting it ready, curing it for some time and then working on the wheel – Simonie does it all.
Simonie likes to work with details like intricate cut work and textures which are very labour intensive and time consuming. She gives attention to every piece that she makes and it is visible in the quality of work. It is a never ending learning process for her where she experiments and learns new things every day.
Recently, she held her first solo exhibition at the Quadro Gallery which was a huge achievement for her. Nervous at first, she never expected it to become a huge success given that it happened on a short notice. She had to display plenty of pieces from her pottery collection and worked for two months straight without taking much of a break. Her entire family was very supportive of her work and she received an overwhelming response for her work at the exhibition.
Currently, Simonie is in the process of setting up her own studio at her residence where she will be able to work freely without any time restrictions or other hindrances. She wants to be independent and do something for herself while leaving a rich legacy behind

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