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Designer Profile: Josephine Heilpern of Recreation Center

The Brooklyn-based studio Recreation Center was founded by Josephine Heilpern, a Cooper Union alumna seeking to create functional art and practical designs for daily living. With a background in print and sculpture, Heilpern is known for mixing textures with bright geometric patterns. Recreation Center works pull references from design history, such as the very influential Memphis Group. From mugs to bowls to planters, each individual piece is hand-crafted and exquisite, yet still intended for everyday use.

Born in NYC, Heilpern’s childhood was split between Woodstock, NY and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since returning to NYC at 14, Heilpern has fully immersed herself in the creative community, making a name for herself amongst the many artists living and working in Brooklyn. With the intention to create functional items that make people’s lives more pleasurable, Heilpern began working with ceramics while focusing on a bag line. Fortunately for us, sewing didn’t come naturally to her, while sculpting clay soon became an obsession.

Poketo recently teamed up with Recreation Center on a Poketo Exclusive. This speckled clay mug features a hand painted black polka dot interior and a rubber dipped handle in bright red. Available in limited supply on

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