The walls here are lined with shelves. Most of the shelves are covered in plain white pieces of ceramic. Teapots, bowls, piggy banks, cat figurines, and little airplanes: each waits in its place for someone to come make it into a masterpiece. Some are painted brightly, proud center pieces for the tables scattered throughout the shop. Other completed works wait in the front windows for the artists to pick them up. This pottery shop is the creation of Eliza Master.
Master opened the Potter’s Quarter in Eugene ten years ago. She had experience running small businesses, selling food, drinks and beads, but she was also a potter. With this shop, Master says she was “looking for a marriage of art and business.” Her love for making art began when she was just a child, starting with the coloring crayons her mother gave her and progressing to art classes as she grew older. Eventually she studied fine arts at the University of Oregon.
Master says she loves being around art, and the Potter’s Quarter allows her to provide other people the opportunity to learn about and create their own art. The shop is generally frequented by families. Customers can choose an item and glaze it with whatever colors and patterns they choose. It’s a chance for kids to work with their hands and “a nice diversion for anybody,” says Master. Once a customer has glazed a piece of ceramic, an employee applies an over-glaze, dips it, and fires it to finish the process. “You can come with nothing, and leave with something,” says Master.