The Madd Potter: Work that stands out

Being in the local art scene for over 30 years, Laura Roan needed to create work that could stand out among the rest. She started out creating Mardi Gras masks in the early 90s, but as her career developed she needed to continue to grow as an artist.

In 2011, she was able to open up her own shop, The Madd Potter, 354 Pine St., the name is inspired by a shop she used to own called The Madd Hatter. There are a few masks hanging on the store walls but most of the work on display are unique pottery pieces with sculptures of angels and fairies on them.

Before all of the magic can happen, one has to start at the beginning and work their way up. That is exactly what Roan did as she began to develop her specific craft of sculpture.

Thirty years ago at Williamsport Area High School she discovered that she had a talent for creating art.

“I love sculpture first, I was always into sculpture in school,” Roan said. “Whatever the art class was doing I had to be the best.”

She never took any proper classes on how to throw pots so she created her own techniques and taught herself. When she owned her hat shop she had a pottery wheel in the back because that was what she really wanted to be doing.

After practicing for a number of years, in the 90s she began selling masks as a visiting artist at the Peter Herdic House, 407 W. Fourth St.

Ever since her and her husband sold their store, she had been dreaming of getting her own shop again. She got the property to use mainly as a studio but eventually turned it into a business where she could make and sell her pieces.

Along with her own work she currently has her friends Lisa Fink and Colleen Fritz showcase their work there. On occasion she will do an apprenticeship with someone who is already skilled with clay so that she can pass on her knowledge of sculpture and pottery to them.

Roan’s unique work has set her apart from the average potter. She goes beyond forming a simple vase by adding a piece of sculpture to it or turning the entire vase into a face.

“My niche is putting a one-of-a-kind sculpture on the pot, that’s what seems to sell,” she said.

Most of the time her pots are adorned with fairies and angels which are very special to her. She said that she will have dreams about them then create them in her studio.

Through sculpture she is able to fully express herself. With her work she is able to make her customers as well as herself happy.

For more information visit her website maddpottery.com.