“I imagine a wild place where no one has ever been,” says Jose “Jojo” Agatep, founder and designer for Slug and the Squirrel. Virgin forests, hidden waterfalls, beaches and mountains are his inspiration. “Those are usually the things I imagine when I create them.”
The containers and embellishments typically come from Philadelphia-area thrift stores, while the plants are from the woods he visits, the backyards of friends and the city’s flower shops. His love of plants is something he learned from his family, who he watched garden when they lived in the Philippines.
Since moving with his family to the U.S. in 1992, Agatep has held a number of jobs, but none in the art world. Slug and the Squirrel started two years ago after Agatep gave a terrarium as a gift to a friend who also worked as a buyer for Anthropologie. Now the terrariums are part of the Anthropologie home décor collection.
Despite the creativity and craft behind each terrarium, Agatep doesn’t consider himself an artist. It’s simpler, he says. “I love plants and I love doing this.”
Slug and the Squirrel terrariums can be found in the flower shop Poppy (616 S. 6th St.) and Anthropologie stores in New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Wayne, Pa. ($40-$398). Agatep also accepts commissions. For more information visit slugandsquirrel.com.