Brenda McMahon was schooled at Manhattan's Hunter College and received her Master of Arts from SUNY Albany in 1987. Though she grew up in the greater New York City area, it was the quiet of the land and not the City, that captured her heart. She grew up in a modest brick house squeezed in among others along the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, specifically, Rockaway Beach. Brenda describes her home: my earliest memories are of sand, water and salt air; at night, as I gazed out from the front porch, I saw a shimmering black skyline, not that of Manhattan, but the vast expanse of the moonlit ocean.
Brenda came to ceramics after working in broadcasting for 10 years. She took classes at Skidmore College, studied at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York and apprenticed with several experienced potters. Though she calls her training "self-taught" , she understands that does not happen in a vacuum. Her influences are varied, from her first teacher who encouraged her to continue, to her many mentors through the years.
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