Paula Mandel received degrees in Fine Arts and Psychology from Temple University. She worked in oils/mixed media for 25 years, creating psychological portraits, never imagining her future involved glass sculpture. Once hooked on the medium, however, she determined to learn every glass technique offered. She embarked on a four year journey, first taking her to Lucartha Kohler at University of the Arts. She studied flameworking, kiln-casting, fusing, stained glass and cold–working at Corning and Urban Glass. She studied for 2 years in the Fine Arts Degree program at Salem Community College with Anna Boothe, Paul De Marco and Paul Stankard.
Mandel often melds glass with other materials such as fabric, hardware, and natural materials, adding color, texture and pattern to her sculpture. Her work was included in volume 1 of Best in America: Glass Artists and Artisans as well as the “Best of Philadelphia Glass Artists” exhibit at the National Liberty Museum. Her interactive toys which utilize glass have recently been seen at the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA and included in the juried exhibition “Reflections in Glass” at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, PA. She was invited to exhibit at Rosemont College in the show entitled “Women Working in Glass” and in the “Found Objects 2” exhibit at Works/Snyderman Gallery in Philadelphia.
Mandel is co-founder of The Stained Glass Project, a program teaching inner-city students to make stained glass windows which are donated to schools around the world. This past April she was invited to exhibit 10 sculptures at Drexel University’s James E. Marks Intercultural Center Gallery along with the 14 stained glass windows created by her students.