A Simple Path: with Simone Nabholz

Original article: Linenbeauty

We are delighted to be joined this month by Simone Nabholz, designer and creator of gorgeous ceramics brand Winterwares. Simone not only makes beautiful handmade pieces, like this lovely stoneware mug and a mixing bowl that makes you want to grab the nearest wooden spoon and get baking, she also runs pottery workshops.

Running through all her work and her teaching is a belief in being mindful about what we do, and an emphasis on celebrating imperfections. No handmade piece of crockery is the same, and it’s these individual quirks, bumps, shapes and colours that make things interesting. She encourages students to slow down and reconnect with what they love doing.
Read on to find out why she surrounds herself with people who lift her up, and how she came to quit her day job and end up running her successful business. If this doesn’t have you Googling ‘pottery classes near me‘ we’ll be very surprised…
Welcome, Simone, it’s lovely to have you with us!
Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
simple living homewares

I spend my days in a beautiful, light-filled studio in Fremantle, Western Australia. It’s where I design and make ceramics for my brand Winterwares
I never planned to be doing what I do now – having my own business, teaching workshops about slow living and creating a range of handmade homewares. It came about after I had a burn-out from my career. I was a graphic designer and project manager at an agency and I was working at a really unhealthy pace. Trying to juggle being a mum of two little kids and not knowing how to switch off from work took its toll. I ended up having a breakdown and falling into a pretty dark place. I was on extended stress leave and eventually realised I couldn’t go back to what I was doing before. I had to change my life. 
I quit my job and went on a path to try and heal myself. I enrolled in a pottery class and it was the first time in months that I had some relief from feeling anxious. While I had my hands in the clay I felt present and grounded. It was the only thing that made me feel at peace, so I decided to keep doing it.   
If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?
Figure out what matters to you, because if you don’t define what’s important to you someone else will do it for you. Listen to your instincts and gravitate towards the things that light you up. If you feel out of place somewhere, it’s not because there’s something wrong with you, it’s because you haven’t found where you belong yet. Find your tribe and surround yourself with people who lift you up, encourage you and help you to be the best version of yourself. 
What is it about slow living and the simple life that you find appealing?

slow down your life

I lived for so many years with the awful feeling of being persistently overwhelmed. To give me back precious time to do things that really matter to me, I had to learn to say no to things that were draining my time and energy. Before I could do that, I had to slow down enough to figure out what those things are. 
Living slowly has been about designing my life so that I feel more content every day. Taking notice of the little things that fill my cup and make ordinary days more special. After years of being pulled in too many directions, slow living is an antidote to living a life that’s wasted on worries.
How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment? 
I rarely post to Instagram ‘in the moment’, because it ruins being in the moment! I plan my feed ahead of time using Planoly and I schedule time each week to write the captions and curate the feed. My images are beautifully styled and curated and the rawness and vulnerability comes in the stories I tell in the captions. 
Who inspires you?
Aside from the 1572 people I follow on Instagram?! My studio is one of seven in a big creative warehouse space. I’m lucky because I’m surrounded by creative people all forging their own paths and careers. Every day there is photography, painting, printmaking and writing happening around me. It’s inspiring to be around. Seeing people show up every day and put the hard work in for their passion. Some days are magical, some are drudgery; it’s worth it because we all want to make a difference by sharing our ideas.
What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?
I am homewares obsessed so I have a long list! If I had to choose just a few things it would be my handmade bowls. They’re so joyful to hold and enjoy my granola from every morning. My enamel teapot from Japan, it’s minimal, functional and beautifully designed. The linen sheetsthat I cocoon into every evening. And my handmade wooden spoons. My husband made for them for our wedding anniversary, carved from an almond tree that he cut down in our backyard. 
What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
slow family living

This afternoon I picked up my boys from school and it was pouring with rain. Taking shelter in our favourite local corner book shop, we each bought a novel and took it to a nearby cafĂ©. We spent a couple of hours keeping warm by sipping hot chocolates and nibbling on fresh baked sourdough smeared with butter. The afternoon meandered into the evening. We read, chatted and watched the raindrops splashing into cold glassy puddles on the pavement outside. In ten years time I hope I’m still spending afternoons like these with my boys. Hearing about their days, what’s important to them and having the time to enjoy slow afternoons together.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
I’m such a tame person. Probably quitting my job without any Plan B. Or the time I was in labor with my second baby and he came so fast he was born at home without any help! That was pretty wild. (Well, I did have a little help from my husband). 
Simone, this has been joyous, thank you so much for your time and for sharing your thoughts with us!
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