My journey with clay has been a long, curving road.
After leaving college early to pursue a career in design, I took a job as a production assistant for a small jewelry studio in my hometown of Philadelphia. Soon after I was hired as production manager and assistant designer for a small local clothing company and found myself working in the fashion industry for the next decade in various capacities including designing and producing my own line of womenswear. In 2006 I shifted gears a bit and opened an award-winning boutique, Grasshopper on Washington Square. Overwhelmed by the financial crisis of ’09, I closed the shop in 2011 and regrouped.
It was at this point that I revisited ceramics, something I had dabbled in briefly during those fresh, post-collegiate years. This time around, my night classes in clay sparked a true creative passion and what originated as a hobby and distraction from a long, cold Philadelphia winter became my new form of expression, purpose and eventually, livelihood.
My work is characterized by a rustic minimalism touched with a bohemian flair. It is influenced by nostalgia, my love of the coast and a lifelong passion for traveling. I work from a space in Southern Star Studio, a shared, rustic studio housed in an old converted coal depot nestled by the train tracks just north of downtown Athens, Georgia, my adopted home, where I currently reside with my husband and pup, Buster.
Regina Mandell, creator of Forged & Found Pottery