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Monday, August 8, 2022

Joan Sbarra: MAC Center Artist of the Month

Story and photos by Steve Card. 

NEWPORT — The Memphremagog Arts Collaborative is a showcase for some of the finest creative works of artisans in our area.

Joan Sbarra is one of the newer members of the MAC, but is not new to the Kingdom.

She has taught at Derby Elementary School for over thirty years.

Joan currently teaches part-time and spends much of her time working at one of her other loves, pottery.

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In college, Joan enrolled in an elective pottery course and was hooked.

“I fell in love the moment I touched the clay,” Sbarra said.

However, once she graduated and began teaching, pottery was put on the back burner.

She took some workshops over the years, but only began to pursue creating pottery a few years ago.

With her husband, John, she set up a studio in the basement of their home and a kiln in their garage.

“I get a lot of exercise having a kiln so far from my studio.”

Her studio is small and packed with equipment and supplies.

Two potter’s wheels and a slab roller take up much of the space, and shelves all around are full of clay, glazes, and other supplies as well as many partially completed pieces.

Joan loves her studio and loves creating there.

Joan uses vegetation, fabrics, and many other items to create distinctive designs.

Her pieces are “happy experiments, all made in fun.”

Her enthusiasm for creating is obvious.

She loves to make things and to express herself through her pottery.

Joan is very happy to be a member of the MAC.

She believes that the store is a great addition to Newport and she enjoys working there and meeting people who are interested in the arts.

Joan’s pottery can be seen and purchased at craft shows, at the Garden Shop, and at the MAC Center for the Arts, located on Main Street in Newport.

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