Think Constantly on the Changing of the Elements into Each Other

“Watch the stars in their courses and imagine yourself running alongside them. Think constantly on the changes of the elements into each other, for such thoughts wash away the dust of earthly life.”

– Marcus Aurelius

My morning ritual usually goes like this:

Today’s “Daily Stoic” passage was fitting, considering I filmed this video about “Cosmic Wall Platters” yesterday. I shared that exact same quote, totally by coincidence (even though yes, this art was inspired by ideas surrounding stoicism that I’ve been studying for a while now).

Even in modern society, with all of our advanced technology, crafting art with our hands is more important than ever. It connects us deeply to what it means to be human.

But living as a full-time artist is extremely rare today. Too often, artists are defeated by the fact that art can’t always exist unless it’s priced and sold.

“I always say to artists, ‘Don’t to be an artist unless you really really really really really have to.’ Because 99% of artists don’t have money. They have to make an enemy out of envy. Or it will eat them alive.”

– Jerry Saltz, qtd. in “The Price of Everything”

The “Art Market” can feel kind of gross.

Art becomes more valuable when famous artists die.

Some of the world’s wealthiest collectors are known for using art as trading cards of wealth, just like stocks and bonds. Stock traders have even been known to “short” the art market just like housing, automotive industry or anything else. (The Great Contemporary Art Bubble BBC Documentary)

Some galleries have even been accused of buying work from their own artists, only to prop up prices.

Museums give everyone access to society’s best art, but they only show a tiny selection of what exists. They are the gatekeepers to prestige and perception, yet overflowing with art. Most of their art lives in underground storage.

What’s the solution?

How do artists support doing what they love– making art everyday?

For me, the answer always comes back to something simple: focusing only on what you can control.

That means making as much pottery as I can (about 2,500 pots per year), pricing each piece of art appropriately, and selling it to enter the world right now.

Showing your art to the world can be terrifying. These are our babies! How do you put a price on something you poured your heart and soul into?

Figuring out your art serves people is scary, but it’s a worthy pursuit, because the need is great.

“Fear is the greatest problem for us potters. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being accepted or rejected. If we can work without it, work for the joy of working, then we are free. Because we are no longer working for money, for fame, or for mother, but for ourself.”

– Jenny Lind, The Studio Potter, 1979

Follow the Leaders: The Search for 1,000 True Fans

Enter the Inspirational Pottery and Book Pairings Giveaway (active until January 27th, 2017) and you could win one of 5 Random Cosmic Mugs paired with one of 5 copies of “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss totally free. Tools of Titans is a compilation of nearly 200 interviews that I had already heard before reading the book. This story tells how the lessons and strategies from “Tools Of Titans” have helped the Cherrico Pottery Team and I during our search for 1,000 True Fans.

The reason we are giving away five copies of “Tools of Titans” is because the real world stories in this book have helped me and maybe they can help you. They’re incredible.

“The Tim Ferriss Show” podcast was the precursor to Tools of Titans. I’ve listened to almost every episode. Here is what I learned:

“Don’t take advice from anyone who has not been able to implement the same advice successfully themselves.”

– Tim Ferriss, quoted in his Podcast Episode #144

The reason we’re giving away five free Random Cosmic Mugs is because we simply want to spread more cosmic love here on our Pale Blue Dot. Over 100 Cosmic Mugs have already entered the world for free through our blog giveaways, by giving them out to my friends and by shipping free pots to important people.

You could call giveaways a “marketing strategy” but in some ways they are totally inappropriate and irresponsible.

“Money is to a business what oxygen is to the human body. Cash flow is the lifeblood of business. The bank pumps cash in and out like the heart pumps blood. Sales bring in money like the lungs bring in oxygen. In 2013 I experienced the terror of running out of money, which was akin to feeling suffocated.”

Quoted in my American Craft Council authorship: A Potter’s Journey: Launching a Pottery Business Venture and Fighting to Keep it Alive”

Businesses need revenue. Plain and simple. I’ve felt the suffocating pain of running out of money before. Why should we spend so much time, effort and money giving away free pottery when we need pottery sales to survive?

Since 2014, we have been shipping free Cosmic Mugs to people you might refer to as “celebrity influencers.” Our goal was to get our best pots into the hands of people who are already impacting millions of people in powerful, positive ways.

Here are just a few replies from folks who received Cosmic Mugs as gifts:

Many of these replies brought me to tears. Giving away free Cosmic Mugs let me directly connect with my heroes. If you own a Cosmic Mug, you are in the company of all of these people.

Giveaways are expensive, but they create incredible connections that impact the world in powerful, positive ways. Even with the high expenses, that seems like a worthy goal.

“You are the average of the five people you most associate with.”

– Tim Ferriss, quoted in Business Insider

P.s. Thanks for reading this far! I’m curious…who are people who have impacted your life positively? Scroll down to leave a reply here on our website and we will give you 3 more entries to the Inspirational Pottery and Book Pairings Giveaway (active until January 27th, 2017).

Image sources:

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chris Hadfield, Seth Godin, Ryan Holiday, Bryan Callen, Tim Ferriss

The “Wow Factor”

Seth Godin describes a “Purple Cow” as an example of something truly remarkable. Any person on the planet who happened to pass by a purple cow would exclaim, “Wow!” It would be worthy of remarking on.

The “wow factor” was how I described my art during college, before I ever heard of Seth Godin. It needed to help people feel a sense of awe. College professors urged me to explore abstract, sculptural art and the result was Mindscape: an art installation with over 1,000 abstract sculptures.

Sculpture doesn’t currently pay the bills. During college, I discovered that pottery could, but needed to change my path. One of the biggest challenges since has been trying to craft truly remarkable pottery that is capable of communicating a comparable, “WOAH!” as stepping inside 1,000+ sculptures.

Purple Cow helped me filter this energy into an original, gorgeous coffee mug, which evolved into the “Cosmic Mug” over years spent finding my artistic voice. Communicating the “wow factor” through photography was another obstacle we had to tackle, while switching from local pottery sales to online sales all over the world.

This photo has the “wow factor” thanks to talented photographer Nicole Pederson.

“If a narrative isn’t working, well then, really, why are you using it? The narrative isn’t done to you; the narrative is something that you choose. Once we can dig deep and find a different narrative, then we ought to be able to change the game.”

– Seth Godin, qtd in “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss, Page 239.

P.s. Seth Godin is also featured at length in “Tools of Titans” starting on page 237. Enter the Inspirational Pottery and Book Pairings Giveaway (active until January 27th, 2017) and you could win one of 5 Random Cosmic Mugs paired with one of 5 copies of “Tools of Titans” totally free.

Cosmic Friday: Ten Free Mugs, Studio Shot and One Cool Quote

Thank you to everyone who entered last week’s Cosmic Mug Giveaway! Five lucky winners have an email in their inbox, ready for a Cosmic Mug shipped almost anywhere in the world, totally free! Didn’t win? Don’t be sad…because I made more Cosmic Mugs and launched an even better giveaway!

Ten Free Cosmic Mugs

These mugs are very difficult to create, but I successfully made a bit batch! I can afford to give them away for just a couple more weeks, before having a HUGE batch available at HUGE price discounts. This giveaway runs for two weeks, so you have an even better chance to win by referrals to friends and family who might get a kick out of getting their own chance to win a Cosmic Mug. Good luck!

Cosmic Mug in front of Galaxy Collision, Cherrico Pottery

If you’re dying to get your hands on a Cosmic Mug, I was able to save just three more jewels available in my online store here. Feel free to use this 30% off coupon code as a thanks for subscribing to my email newsletter: COSMIC30

Otherwise, stay tuned for a HUGE body of cosmic pottery available at discounted prices soon and ready in time for Christmas delivery.

Studio Shot: Cosmic Serving Bowl

Cosmic Serving Bowl Studio Shot

“This is the aspect of the art that interests me…the audience. 

…much more so than the fact that people call it art. Call it craft, I don’t care what they call it….long after I’m dead somebody will figure out what it was and how important it was. In the meantime, I get my kicks out of people seeing the work.”

Dale Chihuly


Cosmic Pottery Mugs: How One Tweet Increased my Website Traffic by 3000% in One Day

Cosmic Arnold, Cropped

“Why is Arnold Schwarzenegger holding a Cosmic Mug?” I’d say that’s a fair question. Stay tuned for details…

Tim Ferriss is the first celebrity to show me that he understands the value of handmade pottery as fine art. Last month, he let me mail him a couple mugs. As a thanks, he sent a tweet to his one million+ Twitter followers and 278,000+ Facebook fans. This led to 3,507 people going to my website in one day- WOAH!

Tim Ferriss, Joel Cherrico Pottery, Cosmic Mug, Hubble Space Telescope, 2015

Cherrico Pottery, Tim Ferriss, Cosmic Mugs, 2015

If you haven’t heard of Tim Ferriss, he’s an amazing writer and entrepreneur. His book,“The Four Hour Workweek” changed my life. He inspired me to apply to break a Guinness World Record (which you’ll hear more about in the coming weeks!) and hooked me up with an order of over 2,000 Cosmic Mugs.

This week, Tim interviewed Arnold Schwarzenegger on his podcast. It’s hilarious and inspiring, you should listen to it here on iTunes. In fact, if you just go to his website and check it out, I’ll e-mail you a $20 gift certificate for free pottery. There’s no catch, I’m just doing this as a thanks to Tim, to hopefully turn some of you onto his work. It’s also a thanks to any of you who are interested enough to read about my work! Here’s what to do:

1.) Just check out Tim’s podcast through this link:

2.) Email me at and tell me, “I checked out Tim Ferriss’ site!” That’s it! This is the honor system, but I hope you check it out. If you enjoy my story, I think you will enjoy spending a little more time seeing what Tim is all about.

3.) If done before Friday 2/6/15 at 6pm, I will reply to your email with a custom coupon code for $20 free pottery, good for anything in my online store, with no expiration date.

Thanks for reading! Check out my Instagram to stay updated with my newest pottery:

Cherrico Pottery, Instagram, 2015