My name is Simona Žiher, and I am a Slovenian artist and designer based in Ljubljana. I am the founder of a handmade ceramics studio, Studio Mache, and it all started with my love for clay and cats. I’ll return to cats later.

I have a formal ceramics and glass design background from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, and during my studies, I also acquired additional knowledge and techniques at the Ceramics and Porcelain department of the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague.

I have always felt the urge to create with my own hands and to experience different materials such as wood, stone and glass. Yet clay seemed to be the most satisfying, relaxing, squishy and playful while also offering a wide arrange of possibilities for more serious experimentation and exploration of different approaches. Working with only one technique would feel too monotonous and limiting for me. That's why I create my pieces using multiple techniques, such as pottery on a throwing wheel, hand-building, slip casting, and making my own plaster moulds.

When creating I sometimes draw ideas from daily trivia, architecture, other forms of art, dreams and childhood memories, and sometimes I create from pure intuition. However, what inspires me most are the women that I admire, and it is the process of shaping soft clay into a final gentle but resilient form that for me captures the essence of their personality, which is why my pieces and collections have feminine names.

With all my work, I tend to focus on a minimalistic aesthetic with soft organic shapes and a feminine look. My aim is to always achieve something elegant and beautiful, but also useful. This is the reason, I almost exclusively use stoneware clay and porcelain, both of which are highly valued for their ability to retain durability even in thin shapes and achieve a lightweight quality.

The qualities of the materials I use to make my pieces make them suitable for daily use objects such as tableware since they are also dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe. Thus, my initial interest in sculptural ceramics lately shifted towards creating functional ceramic pieces that can become part of people's everyday rituals. I believe food and ceramics can work together to achieve delightful displays of shapes and colours if paired correctly and complement one and the other aesthetically. I hope my creations brighten up and enrich the little moments in peoples’ lives when taking a break from their daily activities and enjoying a cup of coffee or a carefully prepared dish with friends and family.

And by the way, remember the cats from the beginning. "Mache" or "Mače" means cat in a dialect from Eastern Slovenia, hence the name Studio Mache. For as long as I can remember cats and kittens have always been a big part of my life and my good companions. This is why 5% of income from product sales goes to charity for feral cat assistance programs.

If you are interested in my work, you are welcome to visit the studio or join one of my workshops where you can learn different clay techniques and approaches and create your own pieces.

Additional information and frequently asked questions can be found under Terms & Conditions, and for any other questions, feel free to contact me.