Red VW buses dot the property outside the Daniels Family Pottery studio in Eugene’s Friendly Area Neighborhood. Cheery plants line the path to the front door. Inside, the studio is sunny and inviting. Floor-to-ceiling shelves display rows of urns, bowls and other clay creations. A kiln rests beneath a stained-glass window.
Steve and Leonie Daniels opened Daniels Family Pottery nine years ago as a community studio where people of all ages could come for inspiration, reflection and learning. The couple shares a passion for art and believes art is essential to wellbeing. “Art makes life worth living,” Leonie says. They also share a connection to ShelterCare.
Steve is a featured artist at this year’s Expressions: An Art Benefit for ShelterCare, a fundraiser and art sale to benefit ShelterCare’s Homelessness Prevention Program. Two of Steve’s high-fire functional stoneware pieces will be available for purchase at the event.
Steve has been making and selling his pottery in Eugene since 1994. His work has been featured at numerous Oregon galleries including the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, where the art benefit is held.
Leonie works for ShelterCare as lead processes specialist in the Supported Housing Program, which provides housing and services for adults with mental illness. She also teaches some of the group pottery classes at the Daniels’ studio. “I teach hand-building and Steve teaches the wheel throwing classes,” she explains.
Since college Leonie has sought opportunities to combine her sociology background with art in a way that nurtures people and promotes healing. She has taught pottery classes for clients and recently hosted an art party to foster creative expression among ShelterCare staff.
The Daniels say they’re pleased with the way the community has responded to the studio. In Steve’s words: “We had this space, we put it together, and kind of ‘off leash,’ it took on a personality of its own.” The studio is open to visitors on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings with a reservation. They also offer six-week group sessions and private lessons. For more information, visit danielsfamilypottery.com.
Expressions: An Art Benefit for ShelterCare will be held Thursday, May 19 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit sheltercare.org/expressions.