Falling Sky Pottery: dances with clay

by on March 18, 2010 · 12 comments

in Education, Labor, OB Heroes, Ocean Beach

Isauro Elizondo,owner of Falling Sky Pottery on Abbott Street, OB. ALL PHOTOS: Gary Gilmore

Originally posted April 21, 2009

Editor: This is the first of several posts about local OB heroes that we will be pulling out of our archives.

Any artist with the moniker of EZ is going to have to live up to the nickname. Isauro Elizondo does that in the first 30 seconds of conversation. Owner of Falling Sky Pottery on the corner of Abbott & Santa Monica, EZ is one of those individuals who makes you feel like a friend as soon as you walk in the door. Life is good for the potters at Falling Sky. The view from the showroom is the pier, the beach and the Pacific Ocean . There is no computer on the premises and there is no computer or television at home. At Falling Sky it’s all about the art of the craft.

It was the early 80’s; EZ had been traveling from Europe to Japan . When he returned to the states he was invited by a friend to visit. It turns out that his friend lived right on the cliffs at the foot of Orchard Street. He put aside plans to visit South America and took odd jobs until he landed at Falling Sky. After apprenticing for 15 years, the baton of ownership was passed to him about four years ago.

When asked how his craft has changed him, EZ described his growth in gradual steps. First, he would sit at the potters’ wheel and ask, “What do I want to express about myself?”

As time went on he gained a healthy respect for the clay which brought him to the second level, “What do I want to express about the clay”.

As the relationship between artist and medium grew the thought process evolved to “What does the clay want to express about the artist?”

Finally, as his comfort level matured, the thinking evolved to “Let the clay decide”. Now EZ sees his relationship with the clay as being a dance that grows into a finished piece of pottery.

EZ imparts his knowledge by giving lessons. The classes are small, six to eight students per class, once a week for six weeks. At the moment the classes are in the evening but, there seems to be an interest in daytime classes–which may happen later this summer.

Falling Sly Pottery kiln - in the back.

Works in progress.

As our interview came to an end at the OB Noodle House on Cable Street, we finished  the slurping of noodles, the check arrived along with the traditional fortune cookies.  EZ’s read: “Others take notice of your radiance”. I certainly did.

Gary Gilmore, owner of a goldsmith shop on Newport, has recently joined the OB Rag blog as a community blogger. This is his first post.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie April 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm

We should also remind that EZ and Falling Sky Pottery donated a couple hundred dollars to the Friends of the OB Library just recently.


Patty Jones April 21, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Wow. I have a whole new appreciation… of both of you.
Thanks Gary.


bodysurferbob April 21, 2009 at 7:26 pm

nice job, gg; i like it that you described EZ’s 4 levels of involvement with his work / clay.

the fotos are truly awesome, dude.


lane tobias April 21, 2009 at 8:30 pm

great work, I LOVE the photo of EZ plying his trade.


Old Hermit Dave April 21, 2009 at 9:38 pm

EZ is a good friend and I always enjoy a cold beer with him @ Winstons. I thank him for supporting the Drunk Poets Society which meets every Monday a ^pm @ Winstons.


jon April 22, 2009 at 8:10 am

Nice work ggg. I really love all the great pics. I would be interested in learning more about the classes EZ offers. Maybe I’ll stop by and say hi sometime this week. Never knew he offered classes!


javier elizondo April 27, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Great to see/hear about your art…about your life hermano!!!


PSD March 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Cool repost – don’t think I caught it the first time around…


Seth March 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Yeah, that dude is pretty awesome. I try to steer clear of his shop because my 2-year old son could probably do $10k worth of damage inside of a minute and a half, but he has always been very kind when I bring visitors there.


Editordude March 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Some posts, such as this one by Gary, are timeless. And it’s worth sharing again. We’ll be doing this off and on, running old posts that are gems – primarily about ‘OB Heroes’.


diane September 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

one of my favorite pottery shops in the entire usa


Terrie Leigh Relf August 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I love EZs shop and I agree he makes you feel welcome! My mom had a studio in Spanish Village and so I grew up around the Pottery Guild folks, etc. Stepping into Falling Sky is not only a trip down memory lane, but inspirational! One of these days I’ll purchase something. . .What to buy, what to buy, what to buy when it’s all exquisite and speaks to me?

Great first blog, Gary!


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