I started to learn about composting in Manhattan when I was increasingly spotting compost drop-off sites.  I wanted to start composting but this infrastructure is lacking where I reside in Union City, NJ.  With no existing infrastructure for food waste management in my neighborhood I was left with one option: to do it myself.  

I bought my first worm bin and set out to learn how to use it.  Over the months my fascination and knowledge of vermicomposting grew and the designer in me began seeing opportunities to improve the experience of vermicomposting at home for others living in cities, or in small spaces.  I envisioned a product that was designed well, both visually and functionally, and had the capabilities to grow plants from the freshly produced compost. 

After many sketches and rapid prototypes I reconnected with my favorite medium: clay.  My relationship with ceramics goes way back to my teenage years when I first discovered the personal meditative and therapeutic benefits of building with clay.  Coincidentally, I realized, clay is the perfect material for vermicomposting because it naturally maintains the moisture levels of the soil so that worms can work more efficiently.  This makes ceramic pots the  lowest maintenance option- users simply toss their scraps in and allow the worms to do the rest.  It was through these findings, prototypes, and user testing with clay pots that Compottery was born.


Compottery is my passion project that originated from my own head, heart, and hands.  I wake up everyday with enthusiasm to keep this going because it has been the opportunity through which I've been able to tap into my own skills, interests, and passions to create positive and lasting social and environmental change in the world.  

Jessica Panicola

© 2019 by Jessica Panicola