FOUNDED BY SIMONE NABHOLZ
Simone’s range – comprising beautiful rustic plates, bowls, mugs and vases in soft whites or demure shades of charcoal – is largely monochrome, and draws on the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi, the muted beauty of imperfection as well as the Danish custom of hygge.
For Simone Nabholz, the creative behind ceramics label Winterwares, the tactile side of making products by hand is pure pleasure. “Working with clay gives me time and space to savour everyday moments,”she says. It’s a much slower pace of life than in her previous career as a graphic designer, which she pursued for 10 years. “I was always switched on, mulling over some creative problem, especially with the advent of social media,” she recalls.
Eventually, juggling the demands of work and caring for her young children became a struggle, and Simone took a much-needed break from work. It was then that her mother-in-law stepped in, enrolling her in a pottery class. It chimed with Simone, who felt the need to get back to basics and disconnect from the frantic pace of life – especially screen time. “Moulding slabs of clay with your hands feels so grounding,” she says. Having envisioned eating nourishing food from a particular style of bowl, she chose to create one, and with that, her label was born. The name Winterwares embodies her mother’s maiden name, Winter, and also Simone’s love of the season. “Families tend to gather in the kitchen, and meals are considered more in winter,” she says.
Simone’s own family background signalled the beginning of her creative journey. She grew up in the remote Aboriginal community of Manyallaluk, an hour’s drive from Katherine in the Northern Territory. Also known as ‘the dreaming place’, at the time Manyallaluk was a ‘dry’ community, with only 80 residents. Simone’s family worked with the Aboriginal elders to establish a cultural tourism centre in the community, so tourists could learn about the local culture and try their hand at skills honed over thousands of years. Simone spent many hours weaving traditional pandanus baskets. “It was an awesome place to grow up,” she says. “When Dad planned the move, Mum asked, ‘Who is teaching the kids?’ ‘You are!’ he said. We joined School Of The Air, and Mum taught the three of us on the front verandah.”
Simone finds a similar sense of community today in Fremantle’s Stackwood Studios – featured in the May issue of Home Beautiful – where she has her own workspace. “It’s great for collaborations and feeding off other entrepreneurs,” she says. “The physical space and natural light are beautiful, too.” A typical workday for Simone can involve any of the several phases: from preparing wet clay or moulding and shaping items by hand, to bisque firing or glazing pieces. Each item takes about three weeks to produce, with variations in size, curve and speckle making each piece unique.
Her range – comprising beautiful rustic plates, spoons, bowls, mugs and vases in soft whites or demure shades of charcoal – is largely monochrome, and draws on the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi, the muted beauty of imperfection as well as the Danish custom of hygge.
Considering the ethos behind Winterwares is to enjoy a slower pace, Simone has no plans to expand her boutique business. Instead, she wants to revel in the life she has right now. “I want to maintain that philosophy,” she says.
Words by Nikki Liley, originally published in Australian Home Beautiful Magzine