Working from her home and studio in Topanga Canyon outside Los Angeles, ceramicist Elizabeth Di Prinzio is directly inspired by the nature that surrounds her, from the colors she uses to the rustic nature of her pieces to her seed paper packaging to her company’s name- Earth + Element. Her career hasn’t always been too in tune with her surroundings, however. She shares her story below.
How did you first get interested in ceramics?
I was working at a well-known editorial studio in Hollywood for 9+ years with a demanding schedule and clientele. When I would get home I had a hard time turning my mind off, so I began crafting at night, painting river stones, building crystal light catchers, knitting, and then I stumbled into a pottery class in Studio City. The next morning I woke up extremely happy and eager to get back to class. I started to realize that I had found something that I would be excited to jump out of bed for. I later resigned from my position and became a potter and started my line Earth + Element.
What role does your location play in your work?
My style comes from my environment here in Topanga Canyon. There’s a hiking trail I visit almost daily, called “Tuna Canyon”, my yellow tea bowls reflect the wild yellow flowers, the white rustic pieces match the white beds of straw amongst the back drop of the Pacific Ocean that remind me of the Universe Bowls. I sit and fantasize about tableware and what I’d want to eat from that would reflect what I see and feel when I’m there. I want tableware to be timeless, functional with a spirit.
You left a very busy, demanding career path. How did you know it was time for a change and what was it like taking the plunge?
It was really scary. I had a great job with a great paycheck. People move to LA from all around the world at a chance to work in the entertainment business. The thought of risking it to make pottery was something that my ego needed to let go because my mind, body and spirit was hungry for another outlet. I realized it was much scarier NOT to follow my dreams, then to sit in my office for one more day.