Edit ModuleShow Tags

Behind Joe Skoby's Ocean-Inspired Ceramics

Meet the fish shop manager turned ceramacist who cranks out high-end masterpieces


Photo by Joseph Aguirre

Seeing his ceramic pieces next to antiques sourced from Paris and adored by big-name designers like Peter Dunham is a stark contrast to Joe Skoby’s humble retail beginnings. Technically, the ceramicist was discovered, of all places, in a fish market—El Pescador in La Jolla.

“The owner allowed me to put my pieces up on the counter to sell,” says Skoby, who 15 years later is now a manager of the market/restaurant—by night.

By day, he’s at a pottery wheel in his Bird Rock backyard, spinning clay into vaselike sculptures or, as he sees them, “nonfunctional ornamental pieces of sculptural art. Whatever people do with them is cool.”

Amy Meier is the first San Diego retailer to carry his pieces, including a Grecian-inspired collection custom-made for the shop. But most of Skoby’s sales are made online. An individual piece can take up to a month from start to finish, and they’re priced from $350 to $700. Most are influenced by his favorite hobby: surfing.

“I’m always looking at what the winds and tides and swells are doing,” he says. That translates into details like grooving, crazing, and blistering reminiscent of a stone weathered by the ocean, or glazing suggesting tides pulling back from the shore.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

3 Ways to Style Your Succulents for the Holidays

We excerpt three recipes from Jessica Cain's book, Stylish Succulent Designs & Other Botanical Crafts

Sky of Blue and Sea of Green

Our copy chief reflects on the unique relationship his father had with the afterlife

The Upside of a Downsize—to an Apartment in Carmel Valley

Why the Braidwoods sold their three-bedroom home
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Problem With Bright Red Tuna
    Many Americans still think bright red tuna means it’s fresher (it’s not)
  2. First Look: Animae
    Puffer Malarkey Restaurants unveil 5.5 million-dollar pan-Asian concept
  3. Jason Mraz and his Historic Coffee Bean
    The singer and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters unveil the first California-grown Geisha coffee
  4. The Hunt For San Diego's Best Chicken Wings
    How wings became the No. 1 kickoff food in the U.S., and our hunt for the best
  5. How San Diego Are You?
    Take our quiz to see where you land on the newcomer to old-timer spectrum
  6. First Look: Zinqué
    L.A. success story brings the soul of French zincs to Little Italy
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles

October is Rideshare Month

Join the Rideshare 2015 Challenge and get there together
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


’Tis the Season for San Diego Fun

Here's where to play and stay this winter in America’s Finest City

We Chat with the Crew behind Hornblower Cruises and Events Aboard the High Spirits Ship

Sponsored by Hornblower
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags