Annual 2nds & Sample Sale December 5th - 6th. Tickets Live on Eventbrite.

Simone Bodmer-Turner in front of the sculpted shelves of the studio. Photographed by Neige Thebault, 2020.

Simone Bodmer-Turner

After spending several years developing a personal practice and traveling to work with clay communities in Japan and Oaxaca, Simone founded the studio with the inception of the permanent collection in 2018, which allowed her to move into working in the studio full time. The permanent collection was designed to be a timeless, complimentary group of curvy ceramic forms, emphasizing the power of negative space, and heavily influenced by the bridged, multi-necked forms of Meso-American stirrup vessels. The collection has grown into a second edition, Permanent Collection II, adding new forms that riff off the most sought after forms in the original collection, and introduce a miniature series of Più Vessels. The pieces in this Collection II are intended for minimal, ikebana style floral arranging or to stand on their own as sculptural objects.

In Spring 2020, SBT converted the private studio into a both workspace and showroom, building out the showroom by teaching herself to sculpt organically on an architectural scale. The studio will open for visits by appointment in October 2020.

Più Single Stem Vessels are removed from their plaster molds.

Process

Every piece in the Permanent Collection is molded off an original form handbuilt by Simone, which is then reproduced by our small team who manages the slip casting operation. The team has developed innovative methods of casting atypical forms, and creates all pieces in the Brooklyn studio. With the addition of these crucial team members, each of whom are artists in their own right, Simone has been able to return to building her own sculptural work, which is biomorphic yet architectural, finished with textured surfaces that imbue a sense of movement to the pieces.

Process

Film by Basil Fauchier and Hans Neumann, 2019

MANIFESTO ON SUSTAINABILITY & EQUITY

SOURCING PRACTICES

Materials

We are in the process of investigating the materials we currently rely on. We are looking into the individual minerals that make up each clay body we use in the studio, and each component we purchase to mix glaze to make sure that each is not only non-toxic, but is also not mined in ways that are exploitative to the earth or those that are doing the mining. We understand that this is a long and involved process, because information on each individual material is not readily available, but we are committed to doing the work, being transparent with what we find, and implementing necessary changes towards sustainable materials if need be.

Supplies

As a studio, we have committed to purchasing our studio supplies and equipment from small, local family-owned businesses whenever possible, and to end previous reliance on Uline, Amazon, and Home Depot, all of which donate billions of dollars to conservative agendas and intentionally out-compete smaller businesses. We have compiled a spreadsheet of alternative ways to source boxes, packing materials, crates, studio equipment and tools. If you are based in NYC and are looking for alternatives, we are happy to share our resources.

PARTNERSHIPS

Collaborations

We are only interested in collaborating with designers, artists, publications, and platforms who take their voice and their influence seriously and use it not only as a means to speak about their own work, but to uplift the voices and work of those in less privileged positions and to question inequitable and oppressive systems. Before we are a business, we are a collective of individual humans living in relation to each other, the earth, and the systems we have set up or were set up for us. We commit to never putting the exposure of our work before our commitments to equity and sustainability, and to always having conversations that may seem uncomfortable now so that, in time, these conversations and accountability between potential partners and collaborators is normalized and integral to businesses and creative practices of all sizes.

Stockists

As we re-commit to existing retail partnerships, and begin conversations with new interest, we are having conversations with our stockists about bipoc and non-binary representation and inclusivity across the designers they represent, the employees they support, and if relevant, the models they hire. This feels like an especially important conversation when considering signing on with larger platforms who have larger influence, capital, and ability to provide opportunities. In light of the Movement for Black Lives, we are encouraging our retail partners to commit to the 15% Pledge, and offering specific recommendations of black artists and designers that would compliment and elevate the existing curation and vision of each retailer. Signing on to work with larger retailers was a pivotal moment for us and allowed SBT, when she was working on her own, to commit to creative work full time, move into private studio space, and hire and support a growing team. Our hope that by passing these suggestions along to our retail partners, that we are able to assist in this kind of growth for emerging designers of color in some small way.

EMPLOYMENT

Work Environment

We are committed to the daily work of actively and intentionally creating a healthy, supportive, welcoming working environment where individual employees or all orientations, races, nationalities, and denominations feel comfortable and valued being themselves, speaking their mind, and are proud to contribute their individual backgrounds, ideas, and expertise towards the overall goals and work of the studio. Though the studio carries an individual name, our goal is to use the model of decentralized organizations to spread the decision making power, and create an organism that is self-sustaining and fueled by the empowerment and expertise of each individual team member. We value work-life balance, maintenance of physical, mental and emotional health, and time to travel and experiment, all of which we strive to encourage and remove financial barriers in achieving.

Internships

We recognize that both the American design and craft industry is predominately white, and we have been working since the beginning of 2020 to institute apprenticeship programs for young women of color both in our studio and with partner studios. Our goal is to offer ceramic studio training to build skill sets, resumes, and connections with other artists and designers studios in the NYC, and to, over time give way to a generation of skilled and experienced young artists finding their own voice in the medium. Although delayed by covid, we are intending to begin our inaugural program in 2021. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, or a participating studio, or an studio apprentice please email studio@simonebodmerturner.com.

Reallocation

In addition to annual donations Wide Rainbow, and many black-owned businesses and organizations in NYC that are personal to the team, we have joined 150+ small businesses that Maggie Holladay of NYC based Claude Home has organized, to commit to ongoing monthly donations to support the goals of the Movement for Black Lives. Every month, we will donate a % of sales to the organization Holladay selects. We launched in July 2020 with donations to Critical Resistance, and organization tackling the Prison Industrial Complex, and donated 100% of all sales of Petite Single Stem Vessels purchased within a week. We will continue to participate in these monthly donations for the foreseeable future.

HONORING INFLUENCE

As a studio, we recognize that the design and art spheres that we operate in are mostly white, and that the ceramics tradition was born from indigenous people of color all over the world who are paid disproportionately low sums for their work which is steeped in much more experience, tradition, and history than the western appropriators and practicers of this medium. Tracing inspiration and being transparent about our influences has always been important to SBT, and we have made sure to include on the website references to our inspiration so that the seeds for each piece can be referenced and honored.
Additionally, it has always been and will continue to be important to and vital to SBT to spend time each year traveling and working with communities of ceramic artists where the tradition is much more closely tied to its origins. We will continue to share these travels with you, and through our platform offer insight and education into the roots of this medium in order to uplift the practices and work of the incredibly talented artists who carry that tradition, through generations, into the present.