The Art of Throwing Pottery on a Kick Wheel

*This is a guest blog post, edited by Joel Cherrico and written by Macy Kelly: CSB/SJU Marketing Intern at Cherrico Pottery. In this post, Macy addresses fan questions from Cherrico Pottery Facebook Live videos about why Joel uses traditional kick-wheels instead of electric, motorized wheels like most potters. 

You may be wondering why Joel Cherrico kicks his pottery wheel around and around, instead of simply pressing a motorized pedal and letting the wheel do the work. He learned to make pottery on an electric wheel in high school and understands that it might be easier, faster and less stress on the body, but he chooses otherwise.

There’s more to art than the end product. 

All Cherrico Pottery is crafted on two different types of kick wheels: the Karatsu-style wheel and the York wheel. Both have advantages and disadvantages, like portability and weight, that are taken into consideration before any clay is “thrown” (the term “throwing pottery” comes from the Old English word, “thrawan” meaning to twist or turn.)

Karatsu-style Kick Wheel

The Karatsu kick wheel was handmade by a local woodworker who used wood from a local Maple tree. Sanded, finished wood is beautiful, which is often why Joel decides to perform his pottery craft on this wheel. The bench was made from White Cedar from the Minnesota North Shore.

Joel bought his 20-year-old Karatsu wheel used, after working as a production thrower at Prairie Fire Pottery in 2014. After two weeks working at Prairie Fire Pottery, the studio generously paid him enough money to return home with profit to purchase the Karatsu wheel from his former pottery mentor Sam Johnson. The wheel was built to last a lifetime.

When Joel broke the Guinness World Records title for “most pots thrown in one hour by an individual” the Karatsu kick wheel was a key factor. Previous potters who attempted the record all used electric wheels, and the previous record holder used an electric wheel to throw 150 pots in one hour. You can watch Joel set the new record on his Karatsu-style wheel here, breaking the previous record by nine pots.

Unlike electric wheels, you can’t just crank the motor and power through the clay. It takes training, balance and a deep understanding of how to throw pottery while kicking at the same time. Artistry and athleticism are equally important. 40 pounds is extremely light for a pottery wheel, so there is no momentum to keep the wheel spinning unless it is constantly kicked. You can learn how Joel used meditation and intense physical training to accomplish this epic feat.

The wheel is so lightweight that it must be anchored to a board, held in place by the potter’s body. Downward force makes the potter and the wheel joined in the act of throwing.

Karatsu wheels are rare. It’s tough to buy or find one anywhere. You can learn how they’re made by reading “Body of Clay, Soul of Fire” or finding a local wood worker who might be able to craft a replica. You might even be able to reach out to the St. John’s Pottery directly and respectfully inquire about the process of learning how to use and obtain one of these rare wheels, which were originally brought to the Minnesota area by renowned potter Richard Bresnahan.

This awesome YouTube video shows an artist crafting an Onggi kick wheel, which is a type of precursor to the Karatsu wheel. Onggi wheels have been used for centuries for larger pottery, generally over three feet tall. There are similarities between the two, but both are hard to find for purchase. Any talented crafts person could design and create a gorgeous, functional Karatsu or Onggi-style kick wheel.

York Kick Wheel

The second wheel used to craft Cherrico Pottery is the York kick wheel, shown below. It’s only about 16 inches tall, made from a cement mold around metal bearings. To raise the wheel to a proper throwing height, Joel crafted a Black Walnut top with White Oak risers, which are secured to the wheel like a pottery bat. The 24 inch height helps improve throwing posture, since older potters commonly struggle with back pain from bending over low wheels for decades.

The York weighs around 80 pounds, which is twice as much as the 40 pound Karatsu, but it’s actually more portable. It sits on three steel feet, so it does not need to be bolted down. It can be picked up, moved anywhere and taken apart in two pieces. Easy assembly and light weight make it extremely portable, compared to commonly used Lockerbie kick wheels weighing around 300 pounds each.

The York wheel has been great for performing pottery demonstrations all across the Midwest. In 2013, Joel used it up to five times weekly at local farmers’ markets and art festivals (left photo) and he brings it to Duluth Art in Bayfront Park in front of Lake Superior once annually (right photo).

It was created by Roger York in 2008. Joel purchased it from Mr. York during his sophomore year in college, after they spoke on the phone a few times about Mr. York’s career as a potter and his decision to make wheels. The wheel took him four months to craft and he only charged $250. He was 87 years old. Mr. York published the patent online here for free and you might be able to find one on craigslist someday. If you find one available, please email us here: contact@cherricopottery.com. Most people don’t know how to use this wheel and would gladly sell it for cheap. Joel was recently gifted a second York wheel for free, so he can put it to good use.

The York wheel is considered the “work horse” of Cherrico Pottery because of how this durable tool can travel easily. Rope is wrapped around Joel’s wheel because he used it so much that the thin middle piece (shown below) began to crack. The middle, cement section was wrapped with an entire roll of duck tape for strength, followed by rope for aesthetics.

Left: York kick wheel without rope. Right: York kick wheel reinforced with tape and rope.

Both Karatsu and York kick wheels are currently used to create all Cherrico Pottery. Next time you see Joel spinning pottery live on the Cherrico Pottery Facebook page, try and guess which kick wheel he is using.

Electric Pottery Wheels

If you are looking for a simple, easy wheel for learning pottery, Joel recommends the Brent electric wheel. It’s affordable and practical for beginners and advanced potters. High school Joel actually made his first pots on a Brent in 2005. He used the same style of Brent to create a 400+ pound planter in under 5 hours back in 2012.

Renowned potter/sculptor Don Reitz used Brent wheels to make his signature Abstract Expressionist clay works. Reitz powered through hundreds of pounds of clay with ease. Joel captured Reitz throwing two wheelbarrows of clay in two days during a workshop in Arizona titled, “Potters as Sculptors, Sculptors as Potters.” You can learn about Joel’s direct experience learning from Don Reitz in his American Craft Council Authorship here or view the artwork that Joel created since soaking up inspiration from Reitz in the BIG pots section of the Cherrico Pottery store.

What is one thing that you have learned from watching Joel throw pottery on his kick wheels in his YouTube or Facebook videos? Share your newly acquired art knowledge in the comment section below.

Giveaway 

Thanks so much for reading this post and for following Cherrico Pottery. Please subscribe to our email newsletter here and leave a comment below before this Friday telling us one thing you have learned about Joel’s pottery or Cherrico Pottery in general. Joel will pick the best comment about the best lesson one person has learned, and pick them to receive one free Cosmic Mug. To enter, you must leave one, genuine comment about something you have actually learned from us, or the moderator will not approve your comment and include you in the giveaway. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Please allow 24-48 hours for your comment to appear. You must also be on the newsletter distribution list to qualify. Joel will pick one winner Friday around 6pm Central to get one of our best Cosmic Mugs, totally free. Thanks!

246 comments

  1. Love all this . I always learn something new and interesting about pottery. Humm maybe I should take a class.

  2. It makes me so happy to watch the live feeds. I hope to take a class. Best wishes with your amazing art.

  3. Your clay art is awesome & watching you on the kickwheel is amazing!
    I really like your Moon mugs, especially the bluish ones! Our family name (via Mom) is Moon, so I enjoy all things Moon.

  4. Love, love, love watching your videos… especially the ones where you are throwing….. so very relaxing. You have a wonderfully special talent, I can’t wait to be able to drink from one of your mugs.

  5. It’s interesting that the York Wheel is double the weight of the Karatsu but more portable. And how awesome that you were able to purchase it from the actual maker. I like the way it looks better, actually w the tape and rope that’s on it for reinforcement. I know someone who knows all about this stuff will have a much better comment but these mugs are so awesome and I would love to win one! Thanks for The opportunity! -Carrie

  6. Hi Joel

    I was happy you wave at me while you were on LIVE unfortunately I cannot understand what you saying because I’m deaf but it doesn’t matter to me. Your inspiring artist. Making pottery. It’s so much fun to watch you I enjoyed. I hope i win giveaway. I would use it slot. Love the beautiful coloring cup. It’s. Wow. Thank you. You rock

  7. First of all, I absolutely love watching your live videos! I have learned that what I thought was cool looking plates and mugs from a store are nothing compared to what you make here. I have such a new appreciation for the art of pottery now and I have Joel to thank for that! I cannot wait to own one of your mugs!

  8. I don’t know why one of your live videos first appeared on my news feed, but I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m no artist, but I enjoy watching you do what you do and seeing the passion you have for your craft.
    What have I learned? I learned that there is far more to making a coffee mug than I could have imagined. I have enjoyed watching all the steps you have shown us.
    I think it’s kind of amazing that we live in a time when you can watch a professional artist create their art live, from a completely different part of the country. To be able to ask questions and receive answers in real time. To get to go inside the studio and the office. Very cool. Thanks for sharing your art with us.

  9. I’m a Linguistic Anthropology major, so finding out where the term “throwing pottery” comes from was super cool. I think of pottery as very universally found in cultures, so it’s interesting that the term comes from Old English. Also, so smart to use a non-electric wheel for the Guinness World Record. Humans are amazing, and technology sometimes overshadows that.

  10. Joel,
    Your work is beautiful. I have enjoyed watching your live Facebook feeds and can see and feel your passion for your work. It’s refreshing to see someone so passionate about something that is positive and useful.
    With the kick wheel you have more control but you must also feel closure to the work as well. I wish you a lifetime of continued success and passion!

  11. I just happened to stumble onto a video one day and I am hooked! I love how passionate Joel is about his art and how he makes art for art sake. Not that commissioned work is bad, because it’s not, but I love how he created a vision of these cosmic mugs and how he takes so much time and energy creating these amazingly beautiful works of art to share with the world. It’s a gift to see him in the process of making these and I cannot wait to begin my own collection of Cherrico Pottery. Thank you, Joel!

  12. Through Joel’s Artistry, I have learned Art doesn’t have to be perfect.. funky is better~ I have learned to be happier, go with the flow … Never give up on what you are passionate about…. A balanced life is the best way to go…. I have even learned to open up to new Music.. Not to mention I have learned of the majestic kick wheels… perfecting glazes… the handprint and style of the potter is all over his work.. his soul is in its existence .. Anything is possible.. One day I hope to experience one of Joel’s jewels, see his Craft , make it a part of my daily journey.. Thanks for being there..

  13. I personally learned that sometimes, the most up-to-date machinery is not always the best. As a tech geek, it was rather surprising to me that you use a kick wheel (I didn’t actually know they existed before I saw you use one!). To me, it makes each of your pieces even more personal- like you put a piece of yourself into the galaxies you create. Thank you for your art!

  14. Love this giveaway! I learned so much about pottery from watching Joel! One thing I learned was the difference between greenware and stoneware. I also learned why he doesn’t glaze the bottom and love learning about how he came up with the cosmic design. I really can’t just name one thing I learned because there are so many things. Thanks Joel for sharing everything!!

  15. I am not an artist in the conventional sense, but i have a deep appreciation for handmade/crafted objects. While i had an amateur understanding of the pottery process, i never knew the finer points. Since i saw you on facebook one night i have watched all of your videos to learn and understand the whole process. My favorite thing i have learned is probably about the glaze. I didn’t really understand before how glazes were made, how they turned to glass in the finishing process, how they are made from different elements, and how if they aren’t positioned correctly in the kiln or if the glaze runs too far they stick to the shelves. Seeing the whole process from start to finish makes me want to take a class. I greatly enjoy watching you work and hearing your stories, it’s always a pleasure.

  16. I learned from you that art does not need to be pure replication. Inspiration does not mean replication. Moreover, small little abnormalities do not ruin something; instead, abnormalities create character.

  17. The most interesting thing about Joel’s pottery is how long it takes to dry. I can barely wait for my laundry to dry in a dryer, but Joel literally waits up to a month or longer for the clay to completely dry through. I remember that from one of the live videos which I love to watch! I also think about all of Joel’s products being dishwasher safe every time I wash my dishes (I’ve broken very many 2 layer plastic cups in the dishwasher). Lots of luck Joel!!

  18. Im just starting to get into pottery and I have bought the kilns, researching, and I was going to buy a Electric wheel but I was inspired by Joel to make a kick wheel. I want to make native art and I was to be as naturally made as possible. Would also like to wood fire eventually. Love your work and I’m very thankful for the info from your live videos on Facebook. I’ve been checking every pottery book out at local library you have recommend. Thanks

  19. I have really enjoyed watching the live videos. Joel is so calm and yet entertaining and very informative of the process. I have had several years experience playing with clay. But, I hadn’t had the chance to learn about the kiln and the firing process. Learning about the stacking, the shelves and the temperature levels has been really interesting!

  20. I think it’s awesome that you would throw/sell your work at the local farmer markets when beginning your own business. I also like that you make special pieces for your local coffee shop (The Local Blend). I do pay attention. Haha. It seems like you are really connected to your community and that is very humbling. You’re awesome, and keep up the great work. Thanks for the opportunity to win a cosmic mug.

  21. i come from a caribbean country where you see a lot pf pottery on the side of the road, vibrant colors and beautiful art work. theres not much of art school there and everyone becomes a doctor, lawyer or engineer. It has been such a pleasure watching you, the love you put into your work and learning all these techniques that go into one pot. Can understand now tlthe fair prices i see these pieces go by. I wish i was born in a country like this that allows individuals to express themselves the way you do. Thank the internet era as well for allowing us to get into your workshop and you for allowing us to join you in this beautiful journey. We love you Joel!

  22. The last time I had “hands-on” with pottery clay was high school (so many, many years ago) and watching Joel and his kick wheel create such wonderful pieces, makes me want to get back to playing with clay. The non-electrical wheel and just creating is so therapeutic. Like working in my garden, before the drought in California, relaxing yet productive. Staying true to your personal form is awesome! Keep at it, love the Cosmic Mugs, gonna get one eventually! Peace and Happiness!!! ♥

  23. It’s crazy how light Karatsu kick wheel is! I honestly thought you used the same wheel every time. Will definitely be keeping an eye out in your videos to see if I notice them.

    Thank you for sharing your art!

  24. I honestly honestly honestly had no idea of the process of pottery, and that a humble thrown mug is a unique piece of art that took years of training to perfect… and then you spend weeks throwing and drying and baking and examining the pot.

    I remember years ago looking at a popular brand of pottery and scoffing at the price for a bowl. Since watching the live videos I realize that the bowl was so much more than Just A Bowl, and that $150 price tag was basically the same as a limited art print by an artist.

    There’s value in the process and skill of the creator, and knowing that has opened my eyes when looking at other items in the world with newfound appreciation.

  25. When I was in high school I took a ceramics class so a lot of what Joel talks about is familiar to me minus a few jargony words (google helps me with those.) However, almost two years ago I was sexually assaulted and lost pretty much all feeling towards anything. When one of my friends shared the first video I saw of Joel live, I regained my drive for art.
    One of my passions is painting and I want people to know my story. I want people to collect my paintings, I want to see myself in a museum. I learned let myself be passionate with art again, I gained courage to show people my art while its in process.

    Joel taught me something I can’t necessarily put into words. (I’m crying right now) I started falling out of love with my boyfriend and one of these days my husband. I appreciate Joel and his kindness, and his devotion to his girlfriend. I guess subconsciously even though I didn’t know him when I was assaulted I think I blame him when I get depressed and having my attacks, I learned that not everyone is the bad guy in my life and there are more positice pwoplw on my life than there is negatove. He caused me to have an epiphany and I’m changing my major and school’s to art and psychology. I was studying criminal justice and psychology. But with how I responded to watching Joel throw the clay, and pooping out coils, and how others talked about how the videos are extremely calming allowed me to find my life’s calling.

    Art is healing.

    I know this isn’t the answer you were expecting, and I don’t expect to win anything. Nothing is ever ends in my favor. But I learned to be myself again. (After failed therapy) I just needed my passion back. Thank you

  26. I’m definitely hoping to buy a mug before they’re sold out tomorrow, but I’m working so I might not make it in time.

    What I’ve learned from watching Joel’s videos and reading the blog is more of a general life lesson. Joel really demonstrates how if you find something you love to do and dedicate yourself to your passion you can make it into something amazing! It’s super inspiring and uplifting to see!

  27. Watching the whole process from start to finish from throwing and finishing with handles to firing, glazing and firing again I have come to appreciate the art of pottery so much. I had no idea the amount time, work, energy, money and science that go into a finished piece of pottery! Joel, you have taught me to appreciate the art of pottery and you as an artist. Best of luck with all your future aspirations! I will be watching and enjoying some of your artwork from down in sunny FL.

  28. Though I only took one semester of ceramics in college as an elective, it was my favorite part of that semester. It looks so easy when someone else does it, but takes so much time to learn the skill well. I never attempted the kick wheels that we had because it seemed like too much to concentrate on. The thought of beating the world record on a kick wheel just blows my mind. This is a skill I wish I could continue to work, because it was so relaxing but gratifying to do. It’s a great advantage to do what you love and make something so beautiful.

  29. I’m really enjoying the videos of you doing your work. I am an artist myself and it is an inspiration for me to see the passion and clarity you have. Work is a bit slow for me right now, and when it picks up I will definitely purchase some product from you if I can. I do watercolor paintings and design websites and marketing stuff for companies.

    Keep up the great work and living your dream!

  30. What I’ve learned about Joel and his pottery is that he seems to have learned a lot through his teachers, other Potters, his travel and certain books and applied that to his art. It’s really cool to see Joel give credit to those who have (quite possibly unknowingly) contributed to his success. I also admire that he gives shoutouts to the musicians he listens to while he works on his pottery. Nice to see people helping people out. What goes around comes around. 🙂

  31. I have learned so much since i started watching the Cherrico Pottery Live videos! I was not aware that the glazing process can be toxic, but makes sense since it is all metals. I love how the colors completely change in the kiln once the magic is done so you never really know if it is going to come out the way you expect or not. As i heard Joel say, it is either Christmas or Halloween when you open the kiln. Nothing but surprise and total faith in the process.

  32. It’s AWESOME that you do festivals and such – I didn’t know til now that I could see you in person at the Duluth Bayfront Park this summer!

  33. I didn’t realize how many different type of wheels there are. It makes sense for beginners to learn on an electric wheel that way they can concentrate on the clay but later on when you become more comfortable to then go to the kick wheel style. I liked the comment about “There is more to art than the end product.” If you want something to be good and be meaningful you put all your effort and heart into it. Thank you.

  34. You have shown me that it is possible to make a living while doing something you love! Your love for your work is evident in the beautiful pieces you create! Thank you for sharing your passion with us!

  35. I love the whole process but if I can say one thing I learned is, you can find inspiration anywhere. Even when you make a mistake you see something cool and take away a new experience form it. It’s vary inspiring to know that there still people there will find a way to make a living doing what they love and working with there hands.

  36. I just love you live feed on Facebook. I have learned so much from watching. I think my favorite so far is the “popping” technique for getting the glaze in the mugs rather then pouring glaze in. It is one of those so simple why didn’t I think of that before. Once again I love you live feed and your artwork is beautiful. Something to aspire to.

  37. I always heard that duck tape was supposedly good for almost any purpose (including the apocalypse!), but I would never have imagined that a mighty piece of machinery like the York Wheel could have a big part of it held together with duck tape. So one thing I have learned is that duck tape (and a Cosmic Mug) really is a MUST HAVE item.

  38. I have learned, that failure is merely success from a different perspective. Joel has often talked about his medical schooling and how he switched majors to pursue pottery, which to some, could possibly seem like he quit. But I have never seen it that way. My family however…well, they feel differently. I switched careers, and chose a much tougher career with farther reaching possibilities, instead of staying on the course they set out for me in high school. And in fact, truthfully…I’m forced to change trajectory again due to a major illness that has dogged me for three years now, so much so, I was forced to take a leave from my education. What I learned, isn’t that I CAN change paths. It’s that I should never feel bad or like a disappointment, or as if I’m affecting someone else’s life, by choosing something different for myself. As we grow, we change. But the core of us remains. Once a creative…always a creative. Working on my third novel at the moment. Hoping to get back to painting soon as well. Thanks for the inspiration, Joel!

  39. I am amazed! I’ve watched you throw pottery on Facebook live multiple times and you make it look SO easy!! I didn’t realize how light weight the Karatsu wheel is and how much more work you have to put into it to compensate for that while still making amazing pottery.

    It’s very cool to know that instead of taking the “easy” way with an electric wheel, that you’d rather have full control over all aspects of your pottery, from start to finish. Your hard work and talent is shown in every piece and is appreciated!

  40. Fascinating article! I would imagine that it’s pretty rare for a full-time Potter to use a kick wheel? You really put you’re all into your work, Joel! I love the wabi-sabi vibe you have for your art, embracing irregularities or imperfections as character! It makes life much more interesting when it’s viewed that way! Beautiful work!

  41. I think what I’ve really learned from watching Joel work is, how much time and effort really goes into being an artist and trying to make a living off of selling your work. It’s awe inspiring honestly! I used to look at artwork and cringe at the prices and wonder why everything was so expensive. I get it now. The amount of time and effort is just as great (if not greater) than someone working a regular 9-5 job. Except in reality, you have a lot more to lose!
    Watching his videos and seeing what really goes into making his pots has been, not only a treat, but a opportunity to learn what’s it like for artists all over the world trying to succeed. I have a new found appreciation for art and artists everywhere because of Joel. I don’t think I will ever look at a piece of artwork that same way ever again.
    Thank you Joel, for giving giving me this new appreciation! It has been a real joy watching you work, seeing your passion, and hearing about what inspires you! I wish you all the luck and look forward to watching you work again!
    P.S I love your work and I really hope I’m lucky enough to purchase one of your cosmic mugs in the morning!
    -Dayme

  42. After watching Joel’s videos on throwing pottery, it has made me appreciate all the artists in the world a little more! Every time i take a sip of my coffee in a hand thrown mug, I give it a little extra squeeze and maybe drool a little (not really). My arms and hands also ache from watching Joel! My arms would have fallen off by now if I tried throwing a pot or two. You’re pretty(on the eyes) amazing (as a potter)!

  43. Great read, short, but really informative. I usually learn at least one thing from Joel’s live streams, but what stuck out to me recently was the fact that the glazing is not just random. Joel explains how much glaze he uses so that it drips just right to get the design he wants, but not so much that it drips to much and gets stuck to the shelves in the kiln. Keep up the great work, Joel!

  44. I learned about the York wheel for pottery and I think it looks like a lot of fun and very relaxing. I’m hoping to participate and learn more.

  45. I have learmed that pottery is a very long and tedious project. Its not something you can just sit and do in one day and finish. Its one day for throwing, one day for glazing and one day for firing. I had no idea what all went into this. I admire it and will be taking a class near us.

  46. It’s so lovely to see someone so dedicated to their art and to see it flow through you so organically – I’ve enjoyed watching the entire process and hard work that goes into making your pieces. You truly are gifted, and thank you for sharing your gift with the world ✌🏻

  47. Joel Cherrico has a deep connection with the earth. This is obvious by his beautiful pieces like, my personal favorite, Cosmic Mugs (tough choice, they’re all so unique), as well as the line of a mountain signed on the bottom of each creation. From watching Joel in his YouTube videos you can see his connection as he throws pottery. I discovered that he started learning pottery on an electric wheel, but chooses to use the Karatsu and York wheel which require meditation and a strong physical ability to craft his functional art. It’s obvious Joel loves his work and it is inspirational to watch him. I believe with each piece you are receiving Joel’s energy and passion for pottery.

  48. I don’t throw pottery, but watching you, listening to you, has taught me to focus less on the end product of creativity…you miss out on way too much of the creative process…like sleeping through the travel to a destination, not feeling the bumps of the journey…it seems to make you appreciate the final destination less when you get there. Thank you.

  49. Hi Joel! I don’t remember how I happened upon your page but I really enjoy watching your live feeds. I love pottery because of the texture, colors and general feel of a handmade item and yours are so unique! One thing I found particularly interesting while watching your videos was you throwing pots from one lump of clay. I have never seen that technique before and, while it looks like it takes some practice, it seems very efficient. I used to throw in college and watching you has me longing to get back to it. Thank you for sharing your passion and gift with us! – Genean

  50. It is clear to see that pottery is your passion, you make it look so easy and thoughtless. However, I know it’s not quite that easy and you’ve taken time to perfect your art. I have never actually watched someone with a kick wheel, I love it!!
    After checking out your work (Amazing!!), watching some live feed, and your record breaking video (Awesome job!!) Its encouraged me to research my own passions. I look forward to owning a piece of your art in the near future, it truly blew me away!!

    1. After watching your videos, I learned that the glaze can not touch the bottom of the mugs. Even a tiny little drip down the side can cause the mug to break when it is being fired in the kiln. This is why every one of Joel’s handmade cosmic mugs has the finger marks on it. When he dips the mugs into the glaze, he also “pops” his arms up quickly while holding onto one mug in each hand. This ensures the glaze coats the inside of the mug by releasing the air pocket. It’s a neat process to watch! Those little finger marks show the grip he places on the mugs to ensure one of them doesn’t tragically drown in the bucket of glaze. I mean, how sad would that be to lose a gorgeous cosmic mug?! Each one is special, just like each person who is lucky enough to own one. I would cherish mine for the rest of my life, if I am lucky enough to be selected as the new caretaker of this unique and personal piece of art!

  51. I have just never realized how physical this was! But the beauty that comes from all this hard work is amazing!! Thanks for the information!

  52. Mesmerizing watching the video of the coiled pot, it brings artistic inspiration.
    Please send out notifications for the next one.
    Thanks,
    Randi Jarrett

  53. One thing I can see in your pottery is how you use mindfulness in your work. It shows in everything you do and breaking the Guinness World Record is proof! Watching your live broadcast I have learned you truly have a passion for it, showing everyone your techniques and answering all the questions you are asked. Most people with talent like yours don’t always share that. Mindfulness is something I am learning to use in my life. Your videos are very zen like and the music is always good! You really do make it look easy! I can’t wait for a chance to buy a mug! Thanks for sharing your talent!

  54. I Really love watching on Facebook live… something I have learned is the glazing process with the dip and pop to get the inside covered and then the layering the glaze in certain orders depending on how they react to the other and where you can put them as different glazes move more than others. I have done a little bit of ceramics but mostly poring molds and using bottled glazes… watching the live videos has really shown me one really important thing… I really crave clay and need to find a place near me so I can get my hands dirty again… 5 years is way to long. I must say watching is almost as relaxing as having my hands in the clay myself… Thanks really love your work..

  55. I have learned that you can use solar power to fuel a kiln which is fantastic.

    In my home town we have a potter who gathers the clay from rivers, creeks and road cuttings.
    Once a year, 24 hrs a day for three days straight, he keeps his temperatures reaching over 1300°C in a home-made Anagama kiln.
    “During the firing, wood ash and volatile salts settle on the clay, and the interaction between flame, ash and minerals creates a rich natural glaze. And as all the clay and wood is sourced locally, Peter’s works are wholly unique with a distinct provenance and flavour”.

    1. I thought it was interesting to read about the various wheels. Also, found it fascinating that the Karatsu wheel was rare. Keep up the awesome work and creativity!!

  56. After reading everything about Joel and so very much about Pottery, I am even more intrigued and wanting to try making some pottery. I’ve always had a love for it and collected it when ever I could find it. I learned so much in this blog/post about starting with an electric wheel for a newbie like me or make that a want to be newbie. I do love that Joel prefers to continue his passion by creating such beautiful pottery masterpieces with the rare to find Karatsu wheels and the York wheel. This is such a wonderful story about art and passion all in one. I would feel beyond blessed to have won any of his masterpieces.

  57. Using a kick wheel produces amazing art at the cost of what it may do to ones body long term. You are truly giving yourself to your craft. No one should ever take this lightly

  58. I’ve learned that it takes a lot of artistic talent, as well as a lot of patience to make such beautiful, useable pieces. Also, a lot of time and so many different steps to complete so many steps. I love that Joel is very critical of his own work, both the good and the pieces that he feels did not come out as well as he had hoped…..little flaws that probably most of us wouldn’t even notice.

  59. I love watching your live videos. As someone who knows nothing about pottery, I’ve enjoyed learning about the process of making pots step by step. It’s wonderful how many of the “flaws” add character and make the pots more unique and beautiful.

  60. I’ve learned that life is precious and to be able to do what you love is what’s important. I’ve dragged out my old SRL camera and cleaned it up so it’s ready to use. I’ve always loved photography so I’m going to get busy. Thanks.

  61. Pottery is quite foreign to me, as I’ve previously never taken a class or really found myself interested in learning more about it. One day I stumbled upon a Facebook live stream of Joel throwing some mugs, and I found it so fascinating. There is a sense of serenity and calm that seems to come when working with the clay that reminds me of deep meditation. There is unique creativity in the visible design, a complexity in the techniques used, yet, Joel brings a simplicity and ease that feels encouraging to try it.
    There are so many things I’ve learned about pottery from watching the live streams and reading the blogs/emails, that it’s hard to pick just one. I learned that drying pots slower & longer is better and prevents cracking. Another fact I learned is that glaze colors look quite different after being fired then when they are painted on. There are so many other facts that I could keep going, but the one thing I’ve learned from Joel that I take to heart isn’t necessarily specific to pottery, but to life itself. Joel is following his passion. He’s chose a life and career of art, risking everything to pursue his dream, and it’s motivating to me to do the same within my life. I’m very glad to see someone choose such a path, and it gives me hope for me to do the same with my own passion. Thank you for continuously sharing your story with us, Joel, and for providing a motivational beacon for others to also dream big.

  62. Today I learned that Joel used the Karimatsu kick wheel when making pots for the Guinness world record. I’ve enjoyed watching all your videos throwing pots 🙂 Very relaxing

  63. I could imagine the effort and concentration that goes into using a kick wheel, that’s impressive with how many pieces Joel gets out! I took a beginners class a couple years ago, feels great to create something so beautiful with your hands and earth material. My favorite part of his cosmic mugs are the remaining finger marks. Imperfect perfection in the story of each mug.

  64. No idea how rare and special the kick wheels are. I have a whole new appreciation for the amount of athleticism needed to be so prolific. Well done

  65. I have learned from you, Joel, that there are several elements that come together when throwing pottery. It seems as though it’s takes a mental, physical and spiritual connection in order to make the magic that you do. To do what you do, I believe it is necessary to be balanced, connected and in tune. Thank you for sharing you gift with the world.

    Best,

    Amy Jo Yoscovitch

  66. I have learned just how much work goes into making just one piece of pottery. From making the piece, to firing it, to giving it color, to firing it again (sorry if I missed a step or two). Joel is so incredibly talented, he makes it look so easy. When I have seen Joel’s videos on Facebook he is inspiring! I get mesmerized watching him throw clay. Truely AMAZING!!

  67. I do not have the patience for pottery. I tried it in high school myself. My sister has a BA in FA with a concentration in pottery. I know that you have to be extremely patient and gentle to be a successful potter. I do not have those qualities within myself. I appreciate the beauty of all of your hardwork, especially using the kick wheel! I have learned a lot about the kick wheel from this article and your passion to be successful. Keep up the great work!

  68. While watching Joel on the kick wheel, it is obvious that he has a passion for creating pottery. Each time I tune in, his confidence and joy are abundant and he inspires me to pursue my own dreams. I certainly don’t look that calm and happy when I’m at work and that’s been a huge realization for me. He is a blessing to watch and an inspiration.

  69. Joel, you are a very talented and passionate artist, who I believe within your art is raising Cosmic Awareness. This is very important because people need to embrace the ability to see and understand all the laws and little details of the Universe. So, what I have learned from your art is much more than just a dude making mugs or pots, it’s an artist who is also raising awareness to entice people to explore the universe and also educating people on the art of pottery. Thank you 🌌

  70. I have learned that even though Joel has been doing this for eleven years it is still a constant learning experience for him. He is always looking for new ways to enhance what he creates. I love that he views each individual piece as art and not just a collection of pots. You can feel the passion for what he does. At first I really liked watching him throw the pots but now I’ve decided watching him open the kiln after glazing is my favorite. You know he’s done it hundreds of times but there is always so much excitement on his face!

  71. Watching the live Facebook feeds I have learned that the things I used to consider flaws actually denote a human made the piece. I don’t labor so hard to make each piece look “perfect,” like a factory made it. I have started accepting the uniqueness of my pieces and recycle much less rejected items now =•>

  72. Joel, I found out about you only a few days ago and I am beyond impressed with your work. As an artist myself, working in stone, I find your ability to find beauty in random shapes admirable. I knew that kick wheels existed but in college, I was only exposed to mechanical wheels. It is incredible how you can produce so much using your feet instead of electricity. It makes me want to get back into pottery and clay work a bit. I never knew before how to make glazes and I find your style of explanation very helpful after years away from the art. The idea of taking nebulas and other cosmic formations into account when mixing your colors and choosing your shapes is ingenious and inspires me to take a similar approach in my stone work. Keep at it and I hope to afford and be the proud owner of one of your cosmic mugs before long! Maybe when the day comes, I’ll take a trip to Minnesota and stop into The Local Blend just to eat off of your pottery. I look forward to that day. Love and Light!

  73. Being able to love what you’re doing everyday, inspires others to do the same. I see how Joel lovingly makes every piece of pottery from a ball of clay to sculpture to the form to the glaze to the end result that has captured the heart of the American Artists and beyond. It takes mental commitment to pursue the kind of artistry work displayed here. By Joel’s physical training and mediation and music, he and the potter’s wheel become one in creating something special; something that can help bring beauty into someone’s day. Thank you, Joel, for showing us your gift of talent, art and pottery.

  74. You are truly inspiring!!! I have learned that patience is a virtue when watching you make your cups. It’s a beautiful thing to watch cups, bowls and whatever to evolve from lumps of clay! I hope to own one someday and perhaps see a live demonstration! Thank you!

  75. I had no idea the York wheel was able to be moved like Joel moves if. 80lbs is pretty heavy, but the way it is built and its sturdiness is pretty amazing.

  76. It is unbelievably mesmerizing to watch you throw and create and it is clear that you put your entire spirit and being into your work. I knew that the kick wheel was special but didn’t know how rare and deeply crafted the wheels are. I was most interested to know that yours will last a lifetime and that its original owner was someone special to you. That makes what you do even more beautiful. I also didn’t know that the smaller, more portable wheel weighs more. The level of talent and passion shows in the quality and the fact that you must use your entire mind, body, and spirit is absolutely inspiring and proves that one can be balanced with nature in so many varied ways. Thank you for giving this gift to us.

  77. Hey Joel
    I have been part of your audience for only a short while, but in that short time. Have been able observed the many facets of labor and time that it take to create a useful objects as
    well as piece of living art. In this day of fast pace and hurry, it is so refreshing to see an artist still creating beautiful objects such as you do, for the world.
    Thank You
    Rebecca 🙂

  78. I have learned that you need patience to throw pottery. And no matter how experienced you are. There are still mistakes but you have to just keep going and learn from those mistakes.

  79. I am in awe of your practice of using meditation while operating the non-electric kick wheel- you are a true artist!

  80. It has been wonderful to learn about pottery through your blog and videos. It seems like kick wheels allow you to connect more to the clay and thus the finished product since it uses different skills then an electric wheel. It appears that you must be very mindful when using a kick wheel.

  81. There has been a lot learned over the course of a month and a half, when the first Facebook live video was suggested to me. My only exposure to clay was in elementary school. I think I made a cup once in 3rd grade. Out of just smushing (technical term) with my fingers. I also think I dropped it on the walk home after it was cooked and painted.

    It’s been interesting learning the science of how clay transforms in each firing. And the science that goes into the glaze, and how it ends up as art. I love stuff like that. Before it was just sort of magic, and now it’s like knowing how the magic trick works. Which is so much more entertaining. 🙂

    I wish I could say I’d be purchasing this round, but I think I’ll have to wait until the next set is made. Just bought a house and can’t afford the fun things until all the stuff we need for it is purchased.

  82. I’ve learned a ton about pottery from watching all of the live feeds. I think the glazing process is where I learned the most. I didn’t realize there was so much effort into making the glazes and that by layering the glazes on the pots a certain way you will get different results! It was so exciting to watch Joel unload these last pots out of the kiln to see how they turned out. Thanks for taking the time to post these blogs and do the live videos for us to experience that with you!!

  83. Your work is absolutely amazing. The colors are so vibrant! I took ceramics in high school and wish I would have continued with that passion! Continue your hard work and passion on your journey!

  84. I’ve learned so much It’s tough to pick just one. But the best thing I think I learned is about glazing and why it’s important to keep it from the bottom of the pottery because of it dripping and sticking to the shelves and then it being extra work to have to grind it off the mugs and the clay shelves. I think it’s awesome you mix your own glazes (except red) you’ve taught me so darn. I hope about something I never had any interest in. Thank you for the video’s I look forward to them a few times a week! Keep it up! 🙂

  85. I watch every single one of your videos. To say everything that ive learned……o my……that would take a looong time. You are so educational with everytjing uou do and take the time to explain it to all of us vjewers. Ive learned the difference between electric wheel and kick wjeel. Ive learned the amazing texhniques to make a coil pot (like that you dont have to score the clay before adding another coipl because the clay to water ratio is the same, whearas if it were different you would have to score to adhere them together) ive learned that you rarely use tools because you want your pieces to remain handmade. Ive learned that when drying the bigger pots slow wins the race. Ive also learned the entire process of firing in the kiln. The meaning of different cone numbers, the way you stack all the pottery in the kiln. The difference between the clay shelves and the more exspensive shelves (that the clay are far more cheap but will have to replace alot more often) ive leanred about thr glazing process and that while you kind of jusylt wing it there is a certain way to brush on the glaze. You are incredible and i could go on and on about what i have learned. I will continue to watvh all of you videod and follow your journey. You wilp accomplish great things!

  86. Joel your work is beautiful. It has opened my eyes to how beautiful clay can be. I’m a customer for life! I enjoy watching your the live. I can’t wait to see the next batch!!

  87. Meditation, physicality and craft combine to form each piece making your work true art. I believe the giving of oneself is the most important part of creating anything.

  88. Love that every piece is unique. And even though some are flawed it just adds to the beauty of the pots. Embrace the different.

  89. Amazing work! I didn’t realize there were so many different kinds of wheels. It looks like it could be so much fun to do this but I don’t think I have the patience!

  90. I love watching the entire process. Ive only recently learned who you are and what you do but it is magical and somehow relaxing. Watching you glaze the mugs is probably my favorite part.

    Ive learned a lot about pottery from your live videos on fb, but the things that caught my attention was you personally sign each individual mug (bowl..etc) yourself and do all the glazing. Thats dedication.

    I would LOVE to win a free Cosmic Mug, but if not I still fully intend to buy at least 2!!

  91. I look forward to reading the newsletters. Always something interesting and makes me say “wow – I never knew that” –like reading about the different wheels – very cool.
    Love the passion Joel has for his craft and the beautiful results.

  92. Joel, your work is amazing.

    I’ve learned that art isn’t perfect, if it is it isn’t art. I think that applies to life as well. Life isn’t perfect, but we shouldn’t want it to be, challenges, or flaws, happen and they build character. The world would be a very boring place if life (and pottery) were perfect.

    Thanks for sharing part of your life with us.

  93. What blew me away was the chemistry of heat and the glazes. I had no idea how magical (I know! Science!) the transformation was from “raw” glaze to being fired. To use a medium that you have to see in the end result at the beginning of the process? That’s like thinking in two languages at the exact same time, and it’s beautiful. Being able to see the entire process and the enthusiasm you have has given me a huge appreciation for pottery, when I used to scoff at the high prices or think “Whatever…I could do that”. You’ve checked my arrogance, and ignorance, at the back door.

  94. Hey Joel!!!
    This is such an inspiring read! Just from watching your videos, I know that people ask you about your kick wheel and why you use it… and this explains it beautifully!
    You have a true passion for what you do. Delving into meditation and physical training to be able to accomplish a goal.
    Studying and learning from other potter/sculptors. Soaking up and absorbing as much information as you possibly can. And then sharing that information with those who want to learn.
    Nothing in life comes easy. But by putting in time, effort and truly working hard for something you believe in, the reward is in the work! And YOUR work is a direct reflection of that.
    Kuddos young man.

  95. i learned that the york wheel was created by robert york in 2008. i have discovered a new found interest in pottery love your work!

  96. I have enjoyed watching Joel make cups from start to finish. you do amazing work and we should all feel honored that you share this time with us. You take the time to answer questions that we may have and those of us that know the answer try and help out when we can so you aren’t answering the same thing over and over. It is an honor watching you, don’t ever change for anyone. Even if i don’t win, in due time i will get a cup of yours cause I know what hard work went into making it.

  97. Through watching Joel I’ve regained my desire to throw pottery. I have a bowl I made in my high school ceramics class that I am obsessed with. On the bottom I engraved my name and the pieces name, “Mr. Bowl”. I’ll have it forever. I’m currently using it and its perfect size to feed my new puppy. What have I learned? Among many other things, I’ve learned that each piece of pottery is made with passion and love and both of those things are invaluable. I will continue to watch Joel and put a fire under my … to locate the wheel, clay, and all other necessities to keep my love throwing. I’m pretty excited. Many thanks, -Amanda

  98. I learned that Joel recommends Brent electric wheels (after kick wheels, of course) Love your work and would be HONORED to drink my coffee from one of your AWESOME cosmic mugs!

  99. I’ve learned to appreciate pottery as a piece of art. I would appreciate the function of the piece of pottery, now I can look at a piece as a work of art which is also functional.

  100. So excited about this giveaway! I love watching these videos while curled up with some tea. Joel is a great teacher and I have learned so much about pottery. I learned that what I thought was just drip voids on the side/bottom of the mug were really just finger marks and left there with a purpose and that the glaze wasnt all the way to the bottom so that it did not stick in the kiln. I also learned that greenware is when the clay is dry and unfired, that it can still be broken down and reused… as well as differences between Bisque and stoneware. I love how Joel teaches and answers questions as well as sparks an interest not only in pottery but astronomy.

  101. Hey! Honestly I never knew much about pottery prior to watching your videos. All I had ever seen were electric wheels. So I suppose the biggest thing I have taken away is the use of a kickwheel and the meditative rhythm it seems to have along with throwing in general. Thanks so much for sharing your talent and bringing something new to my corner of the world. Peace & love – Katie

  102. I enjoy watching Joel make his pottery. From watching him I definitely have to say I’m learning how important patience is and to balance myself. It’s calming watching him, and to see how focused and relaxed he is. As a Mom those values are important. Patience helps in my situation, I’m working on balancing myself to remain calm and collected. Thanks for sharing your work.

  103. I am SO thankful I came across one of your live feeds a few months back. Watching you throw clay and create the most beautiful creations has got to be one of the most relaxing and calming experiences ever! You are a very talented artist! I also love the music you play during your videos, definitely sets the tone 🙂 I hope to be quick enough one day soon to grab one of your cosmic or moon mugs before they are sold out, so far I haven’t been lucky enough to get one. I absolutely love your art! Watching you makes me want to give it a try so I plan to try as soon as possible 🙂 Looking forward to your next live video and all of your creations to come!

    Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with the world!!

  104. I never knew so much went into pottery! All of this is new to me…different aspects of wheels, glazes, kiln temperatures, textures…Joel makes an art out of teaching his art! I also love how he supports his local musicians and how he encourages others to buy from other potters. What an amazing attitude and what an awesome talent he has. I love the designs and how the colors flow especially since I am not gifted that way naturally. 🙂

  105. Joel,
    I have learned all I know about pottery from you. I was never interested in pottery before I came across your page. You have shown me that pottery is art. How each piece is unique. I love watching you and would love to try someday. I love how much passion you have in your work. You could hire a bunch of ppl and have them making cosmic mugs like factory work and make a lot of money…. But that’s not what it’s about for you and that’s what truly draws me to your work. It’s not about the money… It’s about the art.

  106. The most important thing I have learned by watching Joel make his art, is that patience is as important as the clay he uses. You can not rush the process. From the start of throwing the clay on the wheel, to attaching handles, through the first firing, then checking each individual pot for slight imperfections, the glazing process and final firing. Never rushing but taking the process in stride to create beautiful art. Patience might be the most important part of the process. It certainly pays off, each one of the pieces that emerge from the kiln after the final firing are unique and beautiful.
    Pottery looks like a very difficult medium but I would definitely pick it up if it taught me some patience. I think we all could learn something from that. Thanks, Joel. There are many other aspects and insights I’ve learned by watching your live streams and following your story, but this is one of the things that resonates with me on a very deep and personal level. -love and light- ~Jessica~

  107. One thing I learned that I am excited about is that you go to events in MN. My kids and I love to watch the videos online and will now look up a schedule to maybe see some live pottery creations.

  108. I learned all Cherrico Pottery is crafted on two different types of kick wheels: the Karatsu-style wheel and the York wheel.
    And that there’s more to art than the end product.
    I love watching your live feeds on facebook!
    Keep up the awesome work

  109. I learned all Cherrico Pottery is crafted on two different types of kick wheels: the Karatsu-style wheel and the York wheel.
    And that there’s more to art than the end product.
    I love watching your live feeds on facebook!
    Keep up the awesome work!

  110. I have learned that it pays to truly find your element & try to base your work off of it…as you’ll never “work” a day. Watching Joel, so at home with his music and his medium, has really inspired me to teach my kids, both my own and those I teach, that being at ease with who you really are can bring about beautiful things. It’s ok to do your own thing. 🙂

  111. I really enjoy watching the videos. It’s something nice and relaxing to fall asleep to.

    I think it’s interesting and neat that you leave fingerprints as part of the style. It makes the art really raw and unique.

    I’ve learnt many things from watching your videos. I really enjoyed the large pot made with rope clay (maybe you called this a coil pot). The entire process was really interesting, and the way you attached it first from the inside and then the outside to strengthen it.

    I’ve also learned about glazing from your cosmic mugs. I think it’s really amazing that you make (almost) all of them yourself. (Something about how the red is challenging so it’s better just to buy it). You’d also talked about the pros and cons to firing before glazing. It was actually really interesting the sound difference as well of the fired and non fired mugs.

    Thanks for all the videos. You are a very talented artist! 🙂

  112. It’s hard to choose just one thing I’ve learned from Joel and his pottery. There’s so much. Things from how to center your clay on the wheel, how he determines the size of the peice, how he glazes, to how he fires them. But, I think that I learned most is just to have fun with it. That the outcome is always awarding. They are all different and beautiful. I love the fact he is always trying new things too. Like recently with the glaze heavier at the lip of the mug to make it smoother.

  113. I have learned that the most beautiful art work comes from patience, dedication, and imagination. You put your all into what you love and believe in you’ll come out successful. So happy Joel gets to do what he loves and share it with the world. It’s inspiring.

  114. I love to watch the videos as they seem to be so calming. I have learned that the process of having a finished product takes a lot of time. From creation of the clay pot to weeks of drying, glazing and then firing is labor intensive. Also, in glazing, one small change will create a entirely new look. Watching Joel pull the pots from the kiln and seeing his excitement about the colors and design is refreshing. He loves his craft and it shows. One day I will purchase a set and let my grandgirl drink from them.

  115. Joel has taught me that there is another way to create wheel thrown pottery instead of the electric wheel. I had been looking into kick wheels as part of my college senior project and finding Joel’s website inspired me to create my own wheel and also he helped me to understand that its ok for each of my pieces to be unique and not completely perfect. Thanks Joel!

  116. I began following Cherrico Pottery just earlier this year. I enjoy watching all of Joel’s creative intuition come to life. It’s amazing the freedom one possesses when fully focused on the craft they love. Practice and determination, much like life skills are basic necessities needed to apply to pottery. Joel’s keen eye and artistic creativity with the lunar (moon) mugs and the cosmic mugs are a definite personal visual identification. We are all just a small part of this cosmic universe anyway right? Why not make a beautiful statement.

  117. Watching all of the lives, checking out blog posts, and photos, has been extremely educational. It’s apparent that patience are key, as well as a passion. Kudos for having both!

  118. I am a big fan and watch his videos when I can. I did not k ow that the rope on his wheel was there because it cracked. I hope he gets many many more years of use out of it.
    Would love to win a beautiful mug.

  119. Joel, you’ve taught me to focus on my work….that is what I’ve learned. It is the best thing I could have learned because my work is all over the place in five different mediums. I love sculpting and have chosen to FOCUS on that because I see that you have to LOVE something to do it day after day after day…and be successful at it they way you are. I love your finished products and love the way that you interact with your audience/customers. Thank you!

  120. Cherrico Pottery, has taught me personally a lot. That you never want to push your body to far seeing how Joel uses a kick wheel that clearly take practice and time to perfect, but he mentioned in one of his video about talking with another older potter and that potter told him to “increase his price and decrease output” Because of all the energy of making mugs, cups, ad so on, on a kick wheel is not just your legs its your entire body working together to make such amazing art. I have also learned to follow your passion the fact you make a living off of doing something you truly love and have a passion for is just so inspiring. Keep up the amazing work!

  121. As a custom wood worker, I enjoy things like learning how the wheels are made . Now i feel like I need to get out in the shop and seeing if I can turn out a wheel.

  122. I love how Joel leaves evidence of his process in making his Cosmic mugs on them . You can see and really understand how they are made. He leaves his fingerprints on the mugs so you know how he glazes them by dipping them in the glaze pot and leaves broad brush marks of the glaze on the surface. He emphasizes the drips of the glaze so you know how they melt and merge in the firing. He leaves the marks he creates when joining the handles and creating the soft graceful swirls that make up the exterior shape so you understand his process. Even his makers mark, made up of his fingerprint flower and hand painted mountain show the care and fine handmade quality of these beautifully crafted mugs.

    1. Oh, and Joel has shown me how one needs to learn and work hard at being both a creative artist and a good business person if you want to make a living in the arts.

  123. One lesson I learned watching the live fb posts is no one is “good” at anything until they spend lots of time practicing and learning what they’re trying to achieve. This is not only pottery related, but it really stuck with me. Specific to his pottery making, how he glazed the inside of the cosmic mugs using a quick push/pull up to create suction to fill the inside. Neat!

  124. Hey Joel! I’ve been following you and enjoying your live videos for quite some time now. I’ve got my daughter watching , too! We love your work and how you explain everything there is to know about the whole process. Your mugs are beautiful and I hope to have one someday. Thank you for sharing your story and your talent!

  125. It’s about the quality of the art and the beauty in little things that makes these pots/mugs beautiful. Imperfections are what makes them unique and watching Joel create these beautiful pieces has taught me how to do different techniques and want to focus more on quality and not how much I can get done in a certain time. Also, that it takes time to be able to throw on the wheel, it’s very difficult at first. But seeing how Joel works with the clay has given me ideas on how to improve and want to get back into making pottery. I love watching these videos and see how much passion goes into these pots and dedication to create a beautiful piece. Not to mention the glaze work, and technique with all the different colors to achieve the cosmic look. It’s amazing to see what a person can do when they’re inspired. Thank you for sharing your dedication and amazing pieces with everyone.

  126. My pottery knowledge has increased tenfold or more over the past few months of reading these blog posts and watching your live videos. More than anything, the lesson I’ve learned that has been most helpful and applicable to me has been watching Joel’s attitude and treatment the imperfections that inevitably happen in pottery. I’ve considered myself a “recovering perfectionist” for years. I’ve really enjoyed how Joel embraces imperfections and explains how they are part of his art, add character to the pieces, and they show that his pots are handmade by showing glimpses of the process. I know it’s not a “rocket science” lesson, but it’s helped me a lot to get out of my natural tendency of desiring to have all things perfect in my own art whether it be in my hand piecing quilts, baking, furniture painting, or whatever project I’m working on. So thank you Joel, for sharing your process, your art, and inadvertently teaching me to embrace imperfections in my own art. 🙂

  127. I love your work, the cosmic mugs are beautiful. I think watching how you glaze and how they come out after firing is truly the most interesting. It amazes me that the 5 glazes used on the cosmic mugs turn out like they do. Glazing is not painting…I would say is the most interesting thing I have learned about pottery. Having painted but never glazed, seeing the first video of the glazing you did…I thought that looks sloppy how do they come out so beautiful? So having the glazing process explained was eye opening. Truly an artist, Joel. Love watching you work. You have inspired me to take some art classes.

  128. I learned that there are many different types of pottery wheels. I never knew there were so many different ones! The manual ones do seem like more work, but I bet the feeling you get when seeing the finished product is better knowing how hard it was to create it. Watching Joel has rekindled my inner artist from high school that I had forgotten about. My 4 year old daughter Ally has also sparked an interest in pottery and loves watching Joel in action as well. I’m hoping to find a local place where we can go create something together. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful art with us! I absolutely love watching the process from beginning to end. I pray your success continues for you Joel, as you are truly talented. Thank you!

  129. Definitely picked up new groovy tunes, inspirational authors and a few new artists to check out on travels. I can’t say I’ll ever throw pottery but Joel makes one feel like they can!

  130. Hi Joel and crew,
    Just wanted to drop a few lines to say how inspirational you are . From watching your live videos and reading about how you got started it is clear that you are really intuned with your inner self. Everything you create seems to have a purpose, a meaning behind it which makes your work unique and original. The inspiration you and commitment you show can only enlighten others to follow their dreams whatever they may be and to never quit. It is an amazing gift God has given you and its awesome that you give everyone a chance to share it with you. As for the little ones that watch it gives them great ideas and hopes knowing that with a little hard work and preserverance they to can achieve anything they put their minds to. Love your work and will continue to be inspired.

  131. Love your videos…I’ve learned so much about pottery. One cool thing I learned was how you get the glaze inside the cosmic mugs….POP!! ❤

  132. I love learning about Joel’s journey in general, so I love to see what kind of wheel he actually learned on! I dabble with pottery myself and I am seriously inspired while watching the Facebook live videos! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  133. Love this article. It really answered alot of questions I have had. Based on this information I think as a beginner learning to throw pottery I’m a smaller space an electric wheelchair would be best for me. However, once I have learned I would live the portability of a York wheel. I feel like using a kick wheel allows more control over the piece and really makes it specifically unique to your own style. It’s a piece of art rather than just a cup or bowl. And I really do love your work. I am trying to save up to buy a moon mugs or cosmic mug for my birthday in a month!

  134. When I used to look at a piece of pottery all I saw was the end result. I thought, “Yeah its nice. but its a bit pricey.” Through Joel’s page and videos I know understand how much actually goes into making just one piece of art. Now when I look at a piece of pottery I can see the love and passion that has gone into that end result. I don’t know how he manages to part with a single piece.

  135. I have learned all kinds of things watching you. I have learned how calming pottery and throwing can be. I found your live videos shortly after loosing my 22 year old son in a car wreck, when I needed calming the most. I am fascinated by the glazing and how the different glazes run different and mix together to create amazing colors. You have helped me beyond words … I would love to win a mug but you have already given me so much more! thank you!!

  136. I have been wondering about the different wheels. Thank you so much for this blog. I happened upon a live broadcast about a month ago. I have long collected pottery and watching your work has inspired me to start some classes. I could not find the information on what wheel to start with and now, voila, here is my answer. I am so glad U learned that the Brent Electric Wheel is a great introductory wheel for me. Thank you!

  137. Learning about the Karatsu style kick wheel and how you sit on the same board it is attached to because it is lightweight and needs you to complete it to do its job along with you is amazing when it all comes together to break a world record. Also learning about the different glazes and how they react with the heat in the kiln to produce those different amazing colors. Like the copper going green and the cobalt in the fantastic shades of blue. I also learned that you turn your piece upside down when drying before kiln time because of the thickness and the air bubbles you do not want because it will explode in the kiln. I would have never thought of such thing happening with out watching Joel explain the process and never knew there was so much you can do being a potter! It is truly wonderful to watch and learn about!

  138. I have been wondering about the different wheels. Thank you so much for this blog. I happened upon a live broadcast about a month ago. I have long collected pottery and watching your work has inspired me to start some classes. I could not find the information on what wheel to start with and now, voila, here is my answer. I am so glad I learned that the Brent Electric Wheel is a great introductory wheel for me. Thank you!

  139. It is really hard to say just one thing that I have learned from your different videos. I have learned of new indie artists that I had never heard of before that I now love. I’ve learned about the different types of clay as well as Kilns and Heat. But I think that the main thing is the difference between the pottery wheels. There is one video in particular were you were discussing the York wheel and how you acquired it and what it’s made from and the walnuts that you cut and shaved while you were working at a different job. I had never know that there were different brands of pottery wheels and that evening of that video I actually looked up the York wheel, and it’s history.

  140. I found your live video a few weeks ago as I was perusing Facebook. I was entranced with watching you make the cosmic mugs and have been looking forward to each new live video to watch the process through. There have been intriguing points that I learned with each process. My favorite was learning how you pop the mug in the glaze to completely cover the inside and that you do not glaze to the bottom to ensure the pieces do not stick to the shelves of the kiln. I love how you paint the different glazes knowing that they will blend and drip to create the design but only paint them so far down to keep them from going to far. Thank you for sharing your talent and beautiful art with us. –Kay

  141. In faithfully watching Joel’s kickwheel pottery, I have been inspired at my age 56 yo purchase my own wheel and learn this thing called “pottery”. I call it ART and am so thankful to you Joel, helping find this older lady an avenue to express art and love. I love the knowledge and zen you share.

  142. The live feeds are incredible. Joel is truly a talented artist.
    Thank you for sharing your talent.
    I am inspired to do more and to put my soul into my work.
    Blessings

  143. I really enjoy learning about all this from someone so open about it! I am in awe of that wheel and would love to learn how to use one. This post has a lot of great information, and I learned how heavy those wheels really are. I knew that top block was a good bit of weight, but didn’t realize how much they weighed overall. I love watching the work come together on the wheel. Good luck to all!

  144. Embrassing your talent and learning from it to make it a career is only achievable through dedication, hard work, and persistence. That’s what I have learned watching Joel! Amazing job!

  145. I was surprised to learn that there are several different pottery wheels and that they are used by Joel for different pieces of art work. Impressive! Art is so much more than just a piece to look at or use in the kitchen, it’s a reflection of the artist and his or her artistic vision. The cosmic mugs are so beautiful and each one is different like a snowflake. That’s what makes them unique and so valuable. Thanks for sharing your beautiful artistic creativity with the world!

  146. I find it fascinating that Joel uses as few tools as possible. I enjoy learning about the techniques that differ from what I have been taught, so far. For example that he doesn’t scratch and attach when connecting the clay. I also enjoy learning about how he glazes and love that his fingerprints are on each pot. Thank you for sharing your talents and your knowledge.

  147. Love watching Joel on the wheel. I am a beginner Potter, but have a handicap that prevents me physically alot of the time. One thing I love and learned about watching him is how he enforces that there is art in imperfections. His movements and touches look so effortless and beautiful. It inspires me to try different things. Thank you!

  148. Just an amazing soul on this earth. Your art has united many (especially during these trying times of division), provided soothing therapy and tranquity…whether you are throwing clay, glazing or removing them from the kiln. Your calm and peaceful demeanor is just as fascinating as your final products. You have a gift and were put here to serve a purpose. I’d say you have done just that. Many more successes and blesses your way!

  149. If there is one thing that I have learned from watching the live-feed, it is to follow where your passion leads you. So many people sacrifice what their true calling is for a job that simply pays the bills. They look past the concept that hard work and dedication in something you are passionate about can also pay the bills. There was a saying that I go back to often…”if you find joy in what you do, you will never work a day in your life” I’m pretty sure I botched the actual quote, but the meaning behind it is the same.

  150. My seven year old son is on spring break and we watched some of your videos. I showed him this post and told him about how there are many different ways to do the same thing! I used that as an example of an overall greater lesson: just because somebody does something some way, doesn’t mean you can’t try to do it another. It never hurts to try new (or in this case, new but super duper old!) techniques!

  151. Hi Joel! I love watching your live videos and am a fan or your work. By watching your videos there are a couple of comments that have stuck with me in learning in terms of art and pottery. The first was something along the lines of when in doubt make your art red. Kind of funny but true. The second was your glazing technique when dipping to do a quick jolt to break the bubble to fully glaze the inside of a mug. I look forward to more videos!

  152. I learned that without discipline and focus and just a touch of creativity your artwork wouldnt be possible. Also the first wheel you used has a square shaft and the york has a round one covered in ducktape and rope. Now i will be able to tell which one you are using in your live feeds. 🙂

  153. Finding your FB page and watching your videos inspired me to finally go take a pottery class. Now I’m a member there and my dream has become a hobby. Your style has let me just enjoy the art of throwing, at times where I might have gotten upset something collapsed or didn’t come out the way I wanted. Thank you. I’ll continue watching.

  154. Love this article…I never knew the difference between pottery wheels and why Joel chooses to use a kick wheel instead of electric! Thanks!

  155. What haven’t I learned?? I’ve been watching Joel’s work and videos for probably 6-8 weeks now. The process is amazing. I’ve found his discussion on how the beginning of the process changes the end piece so significantly to be interesting, such as the rims and how sharp they can be after firing based on how thick he makes them on the wheel. The reason for the long drying process after throwing on the wheel is to avoid the pieces exploding in the kiln from moisture.

    The glazing process has been awesome to learn about. I’ve learned that depending on the glaze, a variety of things can change the outcome: too much glaze/thickness can cause bubbling; if it runs too far down it will stick and have to be broken off after the kiln process; the cobalt can be blue or gold depending on different factors though it seems that variance hasn’t quite been figured out; the red is the only glaze in the cosmic mugs he purchases directly.

    I could list a million more things I’ve learned but for everyone’s sanity, I won’t. This guy is so worth watching; what a great art!

  156. I learned that you put your thumbprint on the handle of the mug to make it more comfortable to hold and that you put your fingerprints at the bottom so that the glaze doesn’t get on the bottom of the mug and stick to the kiln 🙂 Love love love your pottery!!

  157. Thank you Joel, for sharing your talent and love with your appreciative audience. You’ve taught us that real art needs to be compensated for its value and at times, we need to have patience for the long awaited reward. We have also learned to see great beauty in something that’s so simple as a kick wheel. (I’m still anxiously waiting for the show you promised us last year on how you make your coffee pots.) Peace

  158. My favorite story to hear Joel tell is when his professor made him take any flawed pots and smash them and then throw them away because he didn’t want any of his “flawed” pieces to be out in the world. I love that Joel chooses not to do that. He sees the flaw in the piece but looks past it and still sees a beautiful piece of artwork. Knowing that flaw is there and still seeing it as a functional piece of everyday art is a lesson that should be applied to everyone’s attitude. I did not know that it took so much to make one mug and seeing the process from start to finish has been inspiring to watch. As a artist (crochet) I know what it means to put your whole heart and soul into a piece and then the amount of pride you feel when you put it out into the world or give it to someone and they love it. Thank you for sharing your art with so many of us and putting so much hard work and dedication into the process that many others might take for granted. I look forward to continue to watch you grow and evolve on your journey as a potter!

  159. I am an aspiring Potter from a little town in Oregon. I have used kick wheels many times before but I never completely understood the level of concentration and the physical capability it required. Learning about how you trained for the Guinness World Record attempt was eye opening and inspiring. I certainly don’t plan on attempting to break the record myself, but your dedication to pottery has further inspired me to continue ceramics with even more passion than before. I just wanted to say that you are an amazing Potter and you are so inspiring. You taught me that a Potter can really be successful if they work hard enough. Thank you Joel.

  160. Quality over quantity. Joel really expresses how much he wants his pottery to be made by him with is own hands, and how much passion and energy goes into making these pots. Imperfections are what makes his art unique, in his live videos he says that he keeps and sells everything, including the ones that have little cracks but are functional. With this being said, my lesson that I’ve learned is that nothing is perfect and even with the slightest bit of imperfection is beautiful. I love that not every pot he makes is the same, everyone of them has something slightly different, whether it is in the clay, or while he is glazing. He cares so much for his pottery and it’s inspiring to be able to have someone share their passion with the rest of the world. I’d love to be able to achieve such goals as him.

  161. Hi there! I learned how Joel coats the inside of his cosmic mugs with that famous dunk and pop! The marks at the bottom of each mug are his finger marks left from holding the mugs during said dunking! Joel likes leaving the marks because it adds another earthy level of handmade artistry to each creation! Thank you for this generous opportunity to posess my very own jewel,like the few jewels Joel picks out of each batch and puts away for years and years!! XoXo

  162. I have learned that your pottery is themed for the galaxy which is truly inspiring. I have learned that pottery takes a lot of hard work and dedication even though you make it look so easy! I have learned that your signature on the mugs is based off of the Smokie Mountains where your family visits and the mountains beauty has had such an impact on you. I admire the fact that you make each piece your own by using your finger imprints on the bottom in a flower like pattern and dipping the Cosmic Mugs with your hands to create a design made from your fingers on the side. You’re truly an inspiration and I look forward to all your videos!! You are one of a kind!

  163. I learned to do both back in high school as well. I how ever did not stick with it. I find it fascinating that you like the kick wheel better, and all for good reasons. although I didn’t learn anything new as much as refreshing my memory. I do very much enjoy the history behind it as well as where you got started.

  164. I have learned from watching you for the last couple of weeks that pottery is not easy. I have learned that you are an amazing artist and are very passionate about pottery. I learned that when your first starting out it’s a good idea to not keep all the pots you make because you will end up with way too many pots!

  165. What I have learned is above all, there are no mistakes. Sometimes the ‘mistakes’ end up becoming the most treasured jewels of a collection, other times the mistakes are just a chance to learn how to do it better next time.
    I’ve learned so much clay, wheels, technique, tools, and nameless other things, but above all attitude is everything.

  166. I learned that Joel uses both Karatsu and York kick wheel to create all the wonderful pottery Joel makes Took Mr.York 4 months to craft his wherl charged 250.00 and he was 87 years old God Bless all begins with the wheel love your work Joel

  167. Since watching the multitude of videos I have learned that there is so much time and work that goes into creating a finished product. Throwing pots obviously looks to be most fun. But the time it takes to have them dry out so they can be fired, glazed and fired again. Not to mention the time to inspect the pieces for flaws and smoothness and grinding them into perfection is really the behind the scenes of art. The insight into the process provided through video is appreciated!

  168. Your work is very mesmerizing and watching you with the wheel is a wonderful form of meditation! Love it!!

  169. Before watching your videos, I had never heard of the “Popping” method of glazing, to glaze both the inside and outside of the piece in one dip. So fun and fast! In addition, your blog entry “How Meditation Helped Me Break a World Record” really struck a chord with me. For a semester in college I was an art major, however I ultimately decided to switch majors (but not for lack of passion!). What I loved most about being in the studio was the fact that in order to create something meaningful, I first had to clear my mind of all other noise. I found this particular blog entry so inspirational because it reminded me that meditation and mindfulness are not only important in creating art, but it can also be used as a tool to achieve goals. Thanks for taking your time to teach your viewers about the world of pottery, small business ownership, and for sharing your story. Love your work!

  170. I love how much passion Joel puts into his craft! It was interesting to learn that he prefers to use kick wheels, instead of electric, to create his pottery. Also, the fingerprints left behind on his pottery give them a unique and personal touch!

  171. I am just learning to throw pottery at a local pottery studio and I love it! I have been looking into getting a kick wheel and didn’t know the difference between the two kinds…until now. Everything I have done this far has been on an electric wheel. Thanks. 😊

  172. I had never seen your work until someone shared a video on Facebook.. I was hooked. I didn’t know how much work goes into all you do. I love that you use the kick wheel an not the eletric.

  173. Joel is the epitome finding your space. We are put here for a reason. When you find out what that reason is, everything falls into place. The gift, the passion, the intensity and the spirituality of his art is mesmerizing. This is what the definition of success is.

  174. There is no way to choose just one thing I’ve learned from watching you Joel. I have always loved the idea of making pottery, yet I’ve not ever done it whether it was I didn’t have the tools, or I thought it was too expensive. But now, after hearing clay isn’t that bad and I could maybe find a potter and borrow their kiln, I think I may just get to see what pottery is all about. You’ve taught me the beginnings of what I need to know from throwing to glazing. And I learned a coil pot is actually made out of long coils!! Who knew??? But anyway, I just want you to know you have truly inspired me and I may have finally found a way to express the built up artistic fire that has lived inside me for most of my life. Thank you so much Joel! And please never stop sharing your passion with all of us!!

  175. I do not remember how I hit the first video on youtube during which Joel presented his cosmic mug. After that I started to watch the next video because this mug spell me. I did not expect how complex the clay process is. Thanks to all this presentation I understood a lot and decided to start a course soon to physically touch it. Thanks to Joel for these broadcasts, they are very helpful in understanding this profession.

  176. Joel’s passion is my relaxation. Watching Joel kick, glaze and fire is my guilty pleasure. I’ve learned he listens to super cool music; one of my favorites being Gibby Hibbies. His Nebula (not Neptune lol) are absolutely gorgeous. Joel prefers for the glaze, if it’s going to drip to drip on the advancer kiln shelves as it’s easier to clean the overflow off. He will purposely put pieces on those shelves if he suspects over flow. His mugs are shipped in biodegradable materials made from cornstarch. His pottery is used at a coffee shop in MN. So it’s pretty important his plates and bowls stack nicely. Joel is a world record holder for the most pots thrown in one hour. Moral of the story, I love watching Joel’s passion come to fruition, while learning about him and his pottery along the way.

  177. I learned that even with all the modern technology with electric powered wheels, the Karatsu wheel being lightweight & portable would be my choice. Allowing the artist to become one with it making such beautiful pieces. Creativity can be created any where you can sit & spin/kick. Being a fiber spinner is probably why the Karatsu intrigues me.

  178. I really enjoy watching all the live videos! I learn something new every time I watch one. I love that we have seen every step of the process. It’s such a learning experience! Like why you have fire the pottery before glazing to putting handles on. It’s all so interesting!

  179. I have learned a lot about the craft of pottery from watching Joel’s videos.

    What makes me smile the most is a tie between the look on Joel’s face when he answered a question about products “blowing up” in the kiln. He wasn’t depressed or sad. He was just so matter of fact. Yes. It happens. And he moved on. (Much like we all should when we face disappointments.)

    I also loved to watch the look on his face when opened his kiln to see the newly fired pieces. He was like a kid in a candy store. He’s made thousands of mugs – yet each one is unique to him. He’s still inspired by the whole process.

  180. From watching Joel create his pieces I’ve learned, there is a ton of work that goes into just one mug. It may not take him long to throw it but all the work comes after. There’s the amount of time it takes to dry. Then it goes into a kiln for half a day. When it comes out it has to be checked and the bumps smoothed. Then it has to be glazed and dipped. Then back into the kiln. That’s a whole lotta work. I’d say those pieces are worth every penny. Before I started watching Cherrico Pottery’s Live streams on Facebook, I knew nothing about pottery or how it was even created…other than what I saw on the movie Ghost. Thank you Joel for doing these streams and sharing your passion with us, it has given me a new appreciation for pottery!!!

  181. I wish you had been in my pottery class back in high school back 1983. I might have learned something then, it always flopped on me. But I’m learning more from you now, you go step by step, you have amazing talent which you know this, from the creations that you make with your hands, beautiful art, you Love what you create..your great, love watching your videos, reading your news letters, anything and everything about joel’s pottery, I’m totally less stressful, thank again, very inspirational…God bless…have a good one…

  182. Thank you so much for having blogs man, that video link made me wanna go out and try to build me a wheel. I always thought I needed an electronic one but after reading this, maybe I didn’t really give the kick wheel a chance. So thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge, you’ve got me viewing some things differently.

    I let myself become limited from this must have electronic this and that bc. makes life easier ideology and maybe I just need to step back and try more traditional ways of things that don’t cost as much *why I never could get an electronic wheel $$* I really love ceramics and sculpture actually haha and am maybe going thru this life crisis bc. I’m about to graduate with a bach. in Graphic Design and really wanted to try and go for a master’s in ceramics but was concerned bc. I didn’t know how I’d continue doing anything near ceramics to build a proper portfolio bc. of all the things I don’t have, but maybe I don’t need electronic everything (and maybe it’ll cost less). So thank you, you’ve got me really thinking about maybe actually being able to stick with something I miss and love doing.

    Oh and congrats on the record!!

  183. I love watching your video and I love everything you make. I have learned a lot about Potter that I don’t know. I love your art that you make on the mugs and else.

  184. It’s so fantastic watching you throw. I think it’s amazing how you’re so versatile between the different kinds of wheels.

  185. Hi Joel!
    I’m glad your video showed up on my Facebook feed one day. I love to create things with my hands, whether its something out of wood or a drawing. For a few years now I’ve been interested in taking a pottery class but never actually went through with it. Eventually I forgot all about it. After watching your videos, that spark in me was revived and I have such an urge to learn more and decided to sign up for a class at my college next semester. Watching your videos, I’ve learned that the easiest way of doing something isn’t always the best way to do something. Not using an electric wheel came as a shock to me (even though I barely know anything about pottery). I thought, wow he could be so much more efficient using an electric wheel instead of a kick wheel, doesn’t he get tired? I was already judging before watching more of your video. As I watched, I saw the effort and the time you put into your pottery. You work hard on this stuff and creating your pots on a kick wheel makes your creations more..human. I had no clue how much goes into making pottery. You’ve made me realize that, yeah I can go and buy pottery from a random mass production place, but buying from someone who put in so much love and time is much better. Supporting each other is so important and it got me thinking about how I ought to start supporting shops like yours more. Thank you, Joel for your videos. They helped remind me of my passions, remind me not to be so quick to judge, and they’re just so fun to watch because I learn so much!
    Thank you again! Take care.
    -Loren

  186. “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”
    I don’t know if scripture is something you connect with, but you’ve been inspiring. Your art has taught me that a single individual can make a unique piece of art. I began a hobby a few years ago of birding and taking photographs of the birds I see. I’ve wanted to start selling my photos but always feel like nobody will want to buy them because there are so many other people (maybe even better) that have the same art form as I do. I have learned more than anything that having a passion for what you do and making something unique is captivating to others. We crave handmade items above duplicated molds. Your mugs are much more desireable than what someone could buy at a superstore. I hope someday to create my art in a way that is as inspiring as yours.

  187. I have learned a lot about your glazing techniques/process and how you mix your own glazes. I love the use of cobalt and copper (and I honestly had no idea you could use copper ground up as a glaze). I also love that it’s methodical and makes you appreciate each and every piece in its own way. I took ceramics in high school and college and I miss it every day. Nothing is more relaxing!! Thanks for sharing your gift with everyone.

  188. What I have learned… well that’s a tough one. Most of the new information I have learned inspires more questions, but here goes. I took 2 basic ceramic classes in high school. They mostly consisted of slab construction. We did get like 6 months to learn the wheel and make a dish set consisting of one cup, one bowl, and one plate. Slightly embarrassed to admit it took me 6 months to create one of each, when you can throw those in record breaking time, but hey, no judgements.

    Anyways, two new things I took away from the videos of yours I’ve seen:
    1-If you use correct technique, you do not need slip to connect a handle to mug. Mind. Blown. Watching you literally score each piece once, gently push them together to preserve the art aesthetic, and then say you had nearly 100% percent success in handles not breaking in joints made me slightly irate. If one only knew the amount of time I spent meticulously scoring, slipping, and blending the handle to the one cup I threw (aforementioned), being 99% sure it would probably break off during the first fire anyway, could understand my frustration. I could’ve saved so much time had I learned better technique, rather than trying to futz with the “glue” that is slip and blending to perfection.

    2-The chemistry of glazing-Didn’t realize people made their own glaze. This has instilled so many more questions which I intend to look up. So, knowing nothing about the home glazing situation, cliff notes version of what I learned from the videos is that glaze is a precise composition of metals suspended in water. However, you said you freeze your batch and let it thaw when the kiln is on, and you also said that the metal composition percentage is extremely important (obviously because if the composition gets compromised, there will consequences in the firing process). It seems to me that freezing the glaze and letting it sit in a room that gets to high room temperatures would cause evaporation of the water during the thawing/storing process, thus, compromising the metal to water ratio of the glaze, thus, thus causing there to be different outcomes when fired. Super intriguing to me that this is not the case with your glaze recipe. Oh, and the movement and dynamic colors of cobalt glaze during the firing process is absolutely incredible.

    Keep on making pottery.

  189. My 3 year old daughter loves watching the “potty man” make her coffee mugs because according to her they should all be in her cabinet. Toddler logic at its finest. It’s become our nightly ritual to watch whatever new video (or older ones) are up before bed because she says she’s learning to be a “potty girl.” It’s too hard to pick one thing we’ve learned from watching, maybe it’s not so much what we’ve learned from you but what watching you has taught me about my daughter’s plans to be a potter. You’ve inspired the wee generation and that’s amazing.

  190. Cool things I learned about pottery from watching Joel:
    -That the first firing makes bisque.
    -bisque is glazed and fired.
    – you can glaze green ware, but don’t drop it in the glaze or it will melt and ruin your glaze!
    -Joel fires his mugs at cone 8. Cool term for very hot (2200 some degrees)
    – glazes are made of metals like copper and cobalt ( i had no idea)
    – Cherico pottery is dishwasher safe.
    Lastly, I learned that I would LOVE a COSMIC MUG.

  191. I learned a potters wheel isn’t simply a potters wheel. Electric or kick. In watching the live presentations I noticed the kick wheel and see how throwing on a kick wheel is much like a well corregraphed dance, an intricate rhythm of movement and precision. I also realized just how physically and mentally challenging throwing must be, even though you manage to make it appear totally natural and simple.

  192. Wow! It truly is amazing to watch you! I learned that you didn’t just take the easy, fastest way. You took the time to actually learn to perfect and put your own spin into pottery. You have passion for sure and all of your work is true art!

  193. I’m not a potter myself , but I learned so many things about potery by listening to Joel live videos that I can actually better understand the art behind the handmade objects I buy and the unique style and spirit each potter put in its work. Thanks for that lesson, thought the best thing he has taugh me is that there’s perfection in every thing : as the comic mugs never turn the same, they’re all perfect un their own way no matter how they’ve been turned, glazed or stockée un thé kiln.

    There’s a great life lesson to catch fromage Joel’s work and I guess this is why his live videos are my favorite thing to watch for the last 3 months! Trully inspiring. Much love XX

  194. I think one thing I’ve learned from you is don’t get caught up in so much of perfection that you lose the best part of making living with your hands is that it just still art & each pot has its own unique story to tell. I quite often get upset if I make a mistake in my creativeness, weather if it’s art with yarn, crocheting or other forms. Or cake decorating, or sewing. Even if I paint. Just because one has a set goal doesn’t mean if you stray away from it it’s not art or not useful. You are like this in your designs. Each glaze applied can come out different, height, size, edges of the pot, the handles etc, even though their all similar they all have unique character to them also. Thank you for your inspiration.

  195. Well to start I learned that Joel uses two different types of kickstand wheels which is pretty cool. I didn’t even know there was more than one type of kickstand wheel. Secondly, I learned that sometimes if you just follow your dreams and keep going the cosmos will see and grant you amazing chance to live the life that makes you happy. As a kid I got one of those little toy pottery wheels and loved it. As an adult I’ve been searching for a hobby I enjoy, and I plan to sign up for the summer wheel throwing class at my local art center now! Also, I love that so much of your art is based from the cosmos. My husband and I named our first son after Carl Sagan. Thank you so much for sharing your art with us!

  196. The first take away I have learned from your videos is where there is a will there is a way. How you took what is a hobby for most and turned it into your career. I also enjoyed learning about how the glazes work and all the intricacies involved. I also enjoyed seeing how they look before being fired and the changes to the glazes after being fired. But one of the greatest lessons you have shared is the value of a handmade item, regardless of the medium. I’ve known a few who have made this that and the other but have a hard time conveying to someone why the item they are selling is the price it is. Having watched the process from start to finish you have been able to convey the value of your handmade items. I look forward to the day that I get to own one of your mugs.

  197. Joel
    I have learned so so much beginning with:
    The gravitational pull of ability to capture the universe to hold in our hands that attracts us to your work.

    The balance of natural ore and humanity manipulated by mind over matter.

    The explosion of beautiful melded ore together through your talent and knowledge has left us wanting more.

    The knowledge of the human emotions that can’t be tamed are brought into captivity through meditation.

    The kick wheel over electric, natural overall connection keeping true art ‘ART’
    I have learned to pace my time.
    Taking time to explore deeper concepts of my own abilities and apply them to my life.
    We are as the clay …
    Through natural process of the earth being shaped and decorated by its potter
    teaches me
    While heat changes the appearance of the ore/glaze the clay becomes stronger.

    The beauty of each pot is unique all being made the same.

  198. Thank you very much for your work and sharing your talent. I enjoy reading the blogs and watching the videos; recorded and live. I received my newsletter advertising the new pots for sale and I was too late.

    What have I learned reading and listening to Joel’s experience of being a pro potter – that its commitment from opening the box of clay to putting the finished artwork in the box ready to ship to it’s new destination. I’ve learned two cuts on the pot once in a while when he’s throwing gives him the additional pad to tear off to add to the bottom of the pot to stop cracking and less mess and no shaving needed. And much much more! Thanks again for sharing your skills and talents….I’ll keep reading and watching and waiting for another chance to be an owner of some Cherrico pottery.

  199. I’ve been watching Joel ‘live’ for weeks. I really enjoy it and seeing how his art is made! For me, learning and knowing that he uses a kick wheel brings a deeper intimacy and appreciation for each pot created. Thank you Joel for sharing your talent and love of pottery!

  200. I love that the article mentions Joel using meditation in conjunction with physical training to create his artwork. I feel there is something very elemental about a kick wheel and it certainly shows in the beautiful creations Joel is making.

  201. Joel, I can totally relate to your choosing the kick wheel as opposed to the electric wheel. While gardening, I will would much rather dig in the ground with ungloved hands. It may sound weird, however it allows be to more organically connected to what I’m doing. I actually feel the difference in the texture of the various roots systems allowing me to weed out what I can not always see. I imagine by using the kick wheel, you are able to have a great organic connection to and control of the rhythm and therefore a greater influence on your product’s end result.

  202. I didn’t realize that the Karatsu Kick Wheel was so light that it had to be anchored to a board and held in place!?! It makes sense that it would need to be… but I also find that only further reminds me of how talented someone must truly be in order to do engage in multiple activities at once and not end up with a complete mess!! That’s quite impressive. And on top of that… each piece genuinely looks as if pure heart and soul is what shaped it. Pretty incredible! I know barely anything about pottery or throwing (though now I know that means to “turn or twist” – thanks!) or even clay for that matter… but, it’s become a definite interest for me and these blog posts coupled with the live video streams are basically giving me life. Or at least the low down while schooling me on what this crazy thing called pottery is really all about! I love that Joel uses meditation and intense physical training in order to stay grounded and prepared through mind and body with his art too. I think that’s an excellent suggestion for any artist or person who is looking to really commit and connect to the raw essence of creativity itself. I’ve also been very pleased with the music recommendations from the videos for local bands… so I was definitely happy to see the book recommendation for “Body of Clay, Soul of Fire” in this post!! I look forward to reading it! Keep up the great work, guys!!! We appreciate you!

  203. Love your work. What I have learned watching you is that one can be most happy doing what they love for the passion of art and nothing more. I have learned that no matter what one chooses to do it should ALWAYS be because it’s something they love and it makes them happy and not because of what others want or think you should do. Passion and love for art is what I have learned. Thank you.

  204. Hi Joel, watching your videos has inspired me to throw bigger pieces off the hump. I’ve been throwing on and off for 15years, and my hump throwing has been limited to small Japanese style tea cups and tiny prep saucers. My last session at the wheel, I put 1/2 a bag of clay (starting small, haha) and threw 10 cereal bowls! I am thrilled with my success and plan to start really using my stand-up kick wheel. You are truly inspiring and so generous to share your methods with us. Thank you.

  205. I learned that it really makes a difference to have something that sets your work apart, a style, a mark, a signature, something that identifies it as yours. Makes the piece special to you and the buyer.

  206. I love the way your blog is written it is both informative and genuinely entertaining. I was completely unaware of the different type of kick wheels and I enjoyed learning the difference between the Karatsu and the York. The raising up or adding extra high to the York kick wheel especially appealed to me, as I remember having a tired back after working at the electric wheel for a couple of hours in college. I am curious, you mentioned the risers are secured like a pottery bat, does that mean you use a ring of clay? Or is it something more permanent?
    Anyhow this was a great read and I look forward to reading more of your blogs and watching the videos. It is all very inspiring and motivating, thank you!

  207. I’ve learned that the little round piece above the handle is a thumb rest and also about the glazing process you use to glaze inside the mugs by popping them so the glaze will shot up inside if it doesn’t cover all the way you dip it back in and swirl around also that no glaze can bring the bottom of mug or it will stick inside the kiln and break when removing and that Joel wants to figure out a way to run the kiln by solar power.

  208. I enjoyed learning that there are different types of pottery wheels, I have only seen people use the electric pottery wheels in the past. I found watching you use the kick wheel in your youtube video mesmerizing, I now understand exactly how the wheels are suppose to be used. I also found it interesting that you use meditation and intense physical training to accomplish your Guinness World Record, I also use meditation in my life and have found it very helpful. The pottery you make is very unique and beautiful, keep up the great work!

  209. i’ve learned a lot from watching Joel throw pots. he supports other artists. he knows how hard it is to find something you love and work hard to finally get good. i hope one day to find something that makes me happy and that i can put my all into. this world is harsh and you have to be willing to put up a fight. keep doing what you love Joel. you’re truly inspiring. good vibes sent your way!

  210. I have learned through Joel that doing what you love is actually possible and that pottery is so much better made through the hands of a person with passion for the art form!

  211. Love your work!!! Watching you throw mugs is sooo soothing, such an art form! Thanks for all the knowledge! Favorite learning so far is the difference between stoneware and greenware.

  212. So inspirational! Its awesome watching all the steps that go into making such beautiful pottery and learning about the process. I’ve learned that with hard work and determination you can achieve your goal of doing what you love, having fun doing it all while educating people about your craft and inspiring others to pursue there passion.

  213. I have learned so many things about your vibe and about throwing pots, the kiln process and glazing. Probably the most valuable thing that I could take away from your blog, watching your videos and listening to your business story is that if you are passionate and love about something you will succeed. Success doesn’t happen overnight, making something great, content as you say is the best tool. You are an inspirational person, mesmerizing to watch and listen to, including the kick ass playlists you share.
    Hope to get a cosmic mug soon! You’re work is amazing. Congrats on your viral success.

  214. My 10 yro. daughter & I watched Joel for the first time last month, in Feb. I really appreciate Joel’s talent & passion for nature and art! It may sound simple, something I didn’t really know, and I learned from Joel’s video is that water isn’t always used in creating pottery on a wheel. I had only seen it with water. A large pot like he made that evening was a coil pot. He rolled & pounded pieces of clay to form it. The water is used when making things like bowls & mugs that need to be stretched. Simple- and now I’m learning more thanks to Joel sharing his knowledge! The glazing of the mugs is fascinating too! Brushing on a black color that turns red in the kiln and that the colors run together creating beauty…simple yet inspiring to art beginners! My daughter & I want to practice soon! Thanks Joel! You’re very inspiring!

  215. Man…. I have written out a message 4 times and for some reason it kicks me out. 🙁 maybe it’s too long…. idk

  216. By watching you I have learned that not only does throwing pottery take skill and years of training and experience but it takes passion..Even though some pieces are the same each is unique just like the person creating it. With each piece made, the potter puts a piece of himself within it, a facet of who that potter is. Everyone has many facets and layers of themselves as do each piece that is handmade. Not everyone is perfect as is not each piece. You have the imperfections along with the beauty, style, that one of a kind uniqueness that only that artist can bring into his work. For me, each piece created is an extension, a part of the artist that we are able to see in the form of art..

  217. I have only been following you and your work for a short time. I stumbled on one of the live facebook videos somehow.one day and Ii was messmerized by just watching you spinning. Forming the lump of clay into a piece of art. Its calming. Watching it just amazes me how the different ways you can mold the clay can give you such different results. To pick just one thing I learn is hard. I did not know there was so much that went into spinning and pottery making. I did not know you could change things up.by changing the temperature when you fire the work. Even down to that there are many different wheels from electric to regular. Thank you for sharing your love for the art and taking us along on your journey and showing is some of what you know.

  218. Joel, I’ve been watching your work as a potter for quiet some time now and words can’t describe what I’ve learned from you. I think the one thing that stands out to me the most is not only the beauty of your pottery but your “passion” for what you do. I’m a 15 yr. Breast Cancer Survivor and my therapy has always been working in my flower bed it’s my place of serenity, but since I’ve been following your videos you have given me a new meaning of therapy. Your work is breathtaking, and God has blessed you with a wonderful gift that you are so passionate about and it shows in your work. Not only are you an amazing potter, but you are truly a blessing to me. I appreciate you so much for sharing your love and passion for pottery with me and others. I wish you much success in your future! Thanks again!

  219. I appreciate your videos so much. My favorite thing you’ve shown us would be the coil pots. They seem like something a person would enjoy making, from beginner to retirement. Throwing in the decorative coils to add your own personal touch was such a great idea! thank you for always being so interested in answering pottery questions!

  220. I’ve always loved pottery, and the idea of making pottery, but I’ve never made any myself. I’ve learned so much (from the blog posts and the live videos) that I don’t know where to start. For example, I didn’t know that glaze couldn’t be on the bottom of mugs in the kiln. However, it makes perfect sense now. I definitely didn’t know how delicate glazing was or mixing glazes. One of my favorite things about Joel is how much he references his teachers, mentors, and books. You won’t see many artist or young people talk about all they’ve learned from books these days.. and I love that he does. I love that he is still in touch with where he came from no matter how many viewers he gets or how fast his pots sell out. He’s so true to himself and he genuinely cares about the ART of his business. There are endless things he could do to make his process easier or faster for him, but he chooses to remain true to the art, and I think that says a lot about him as a person. Continue doing what you’re doing, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Many people search their whole lives for a passion like you have for art and they never find it–dont ever loose yours.

    Oh, another thing I learned from last night’s live, there’s such a thing as a packing peanut dispenser?! It just made me really happy seeing that.. haha

  221. I really appreciate that in your art and in business, that you trust your own instincts and follow your own path. I’ve often wondered why you use a kick wheel, and it seems to be the same reason people respond so well to your work. Each of us has something so wonderful to offer, but it rarely gets shared because people don’t always believe in their own unique ideas and express them. Thank you for sharing yours 🙂

  222. Pingback: Clay Blog Review: March 2017 - Pottery Making Info

  223. The patience, soft touch and the Zen of it all I find intriguing. To use an electric wheel for learning then switch to a kick wheel I think I understand. A lot of things are made much better when a person connects on all levels not just the basic. His art, aside from gorgeous, is an extension of him. The ultimate gift from the heart and soul. I admire you Joel, don’t ever stop❣️

  224. I am so inspired by your determination and dedication to pottery. I am especially intrigued by your cosmic mugs. I am studying astrophysics right now (for the hopes of maybe becoming an astrophysicist one day) and when I learned you modeled the mugs after specific deep space objects, such as nebula or galaxies, I just fell in love with them. Really appreciate your work and love watching you create. ✨

  225. The first thing I remember seeing for the first time while watching you, is the kick wheel! I’ve been taking pottery classes locally for a few years and had never seen a kick wheel! I’m so impressed with your work! Such talent! Keep up the good work!

  226. I could (and do) spend hours hooked on your videos! I took a few pottery classes in college for an elective and loved them. I love that you describe the WHOLE process of what is done in order to turn a lump of clay into a mug that one can purchase online or in local shops, shipping and all. The biggest thing I’ve learned is how important it is to support true artists that take time making each piece something special instead of a “brand” that mass produces! Though more expensive, just takes a budget tweak to save up( aka no Starbucks for a week ;)) to support originality!! Breaking the process down and hours of video just help so much with appreciating what you actually do, what making art looks like 🙂 so thanks!! And keep spinning!!

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