11 Cosmic Quotes: Why Are They Called “Cosmic Mugs” Anyways?

Why are Joel’s mugs called “Cosmic Mugs” anyways? Wikipedia says, “Cosmic is anything pertaining to the cosmos” and the cosmos “is the Universe regarded as a complex and orderly system; the opposite of chaos.”

Our Universe is vast and mysterious, far more mysterious than what human beings can comprehend. But the cosmos also defines anything close and familiar in our modern, complex society, like a cup of coffee.

These “cosmic quotes” tell about just some reasons why Joel Cherrico chose to model the cosmos with clay and fire:

#1: Author Ryan Holiday captures this quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson in his book “Ego Is The Enemy.”

#2: Bill Nye (The Science Guy) shares his favorite scientific fact on CBS “This Morning.”

#3: This quote from Carl Sagan comes from his famous and humbling video properly named “Pale Blue Dot.”

#4: Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space, had this to say about how art and science are related.

#5: One of the greatest minds in our history, Albert Einstein wrote this passage about his respect for the cosmos and the mystery it represents.

#6: Stephen Hawking, a leader in the scientific field of cosmology, ends a talk with this memorable quote.

#7: President John F Kennedy was committed to further space exploration, science and innovation. This quote is from his Inaugural Address.

 #8: Galileo Galilei, a pioneer in the field of astronomy, had this to say about mystery, science and art.

#9: Chris Hadfield directly wrote this quote to Joel about his Cosmic Mugs. Check out this Blog Post for more information about Hadfield.

#10: Charles Bolden was part of the crew that successfully deployed the Hubble Telescope. Hubble’s incredible pictures inspire Cosmic Mugs.

#11: The last quote is written by Joel himself in the magazine CeramicsTECHNICAL.

Art that lets you taste the Universe everyday

Every Cosmic Mug is crafted with this purpose in mind. Joel’s goal is to give every owner of a Cosmic Mug the chance to touch, taste and reflect on the Universe every morning by doing something as simple as drinking a cup of coffee.

Astronaut Mark Vande Hei with a Cosmic Mug gifted from Joel. Vande Hei and Joel Cherrico are both alumni of College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University. Astronaut Vande Hei is currently enjoying a tour on the International Space Station during the writing of this post. His “favorite office mug” stayed here on Earth.

Joel brings the cosmos into your home by choosing glazes that are made up of the same elements that are found in the outermost galaxies in our cosmos. Check out this early video below where Joel was first beginning to develop the ideas behind Cosmic Mugs a couple years ago:

Spirals are seen throughout the Universe and are at the foundation of Cosmic Mugs, which are formed by twisting clay on a pottery wheel. Scientists don’t know why spirals are so common, but like most things in the Universe, it is a mystery waiting to be unraveled. Read more about why spirals are so common in our Universe in this Discover Article.

One of Joel’s newest pieces in his Big Jars and Wall Platters collection brandishes a spiral as a stunning Cosmic Wall Platter. Joel modeled it after what astrophysicists have determined about the Milky Way’s spiral shape, with subtle textures and colors that are entirely an expression of the art.

Do you have a favorite quote about the cosmos? Share in the comments please!

Image sources: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10

Enjoy Reduced Shipping Costs: Pottery Orders Just Got Cheaper

We’re getting better at packing and shipping pottery all the time. We lowered shipping costs across our entire online store! This is great news for everyone, but especially for international customers and accuracy for bulk orders.

Guinness World Record Pottery Pre-sale

The first 10 out of 159 Guinness World Record pots have been posted. July 1st our press page goes out to 50+ news organizations worldwide. 100,000+ people (woah!) already watched our team break the record in this Facebook video! Many of you asked to get your hands on one of these pots before they sell out, so I wanted to make sure you newsletter folks got first priority. We hope that you see this artwork as an investment that will likely appreciate in value.

Cherrico Pottery Guinness World Record Pottery long banner2

Special thanks goes out to all of the folks at Guinness World Records for letting us collaborate with stunning, official certificates that are included with each world record pot. As a thanks for being part of our newsletter, enjoy 50% off Guinness World Record pottery during this pre-sale before July 1st:

Coupon Code: GWRPOTS50

We have 159 total and you might still be able to get one in the coming months, but we don’t know how crazy things might get after the July 1st press release date. Most importantly, we are happy to know that this art has already begun to positively affect people globally.

We are still working on photographing pots, but if you are interested in purchasing a certain number, please reply to this email with your requested number and we will give you first priority.

New Lunar Mugs, Cups and Cosmic Mugs July 1st

Thanks so much for reading and stay tuned for a new body of artwork available by July 1st. Cheers! (with a Guinness of course)

cosmic-cups-banner taste the galaxy cherrico pottery

lunar-mugs-banner, Cherrico Pottery, Handmade Ceramic Pottery


You’ve got to keep advancing a frontier and then there is a new headline to report on...if you advance frontiers, heroes are made.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil DeGrasse Tyson photo by Joel Cherrico

Looking Back on my Pottery Trip to Prairie Fire Pottery, Beach, ND

512 miles down a single stretch of highway led me straight to Prairie Fire Pottery. After almost 2 weeks of clay work, learning about pottery business, and relaxing with friends and cats, I feel thankful for such an amazing experience.

“My work is highly influenced by the North Dakota land…I grew up here, my soul is imprinted in the land.” – Tama Smith, owner of Prairie Fire Pottery.

This image below shows how Tama draws inspiration for her glazing and colors directly from North Dakota landscapes. Her glaze studio is full of photography. Prairie Fire Pottery, Tama Smith Glazing, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014

Tama’s strongest voice comes out through her glazes: “In grad school, my teacher said, ‘Any potter can make cups and bowls. Your surfaces will set you apart.’ I don’t make much work in clay because I love glazing and firing the kiln.” I can’t wait to see how she uses my pots as canvases for her abstract landscapes.

Prairie Fire Pottery, Copper Red Glaze, 2014

Tama and I still found a way to collaborate in clay, as she learned my handle pulling technique and pulled over 100 handles for these tall, “car cup holder” mugs. Both our signatures are included on every pot, along with any other studio helpers that participate in the Praire Fire Pottery workshop. Check the Prairie Fire Pottery website in the near future to find these tall mugs, small dandelion vases, and square, casserole bakers that Tama will glaze in the coming months:

Tama Smith, Prairie Fire Pottery, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014

Small Vases, Pottery By Joel Cherrico and Tama Smith, Prairie Fire Pottery

Joel Cherrico Sculpture, 2014, Spiral, Nautalis sculpture Handmade Casserole Bakers, Joel Cherrico, Stoneware Bakers Casserole Bakers, Joel Cherrico, Stoneware Bakers Bakeware, Handmade Stoneware Bakers, Joel Cherrico, Prairie Fire Pottery

Visiting other potteries gave me perspective on the huge variety of ways that potters make a living. I bought a pot at Dakotah Clayworks in Hebron, ND at their self-serve gallery!

North Dakota, Dakotah Clay Works, Self Serve Pottery, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014

Stay tuned for more of my work showing up in American Craft Council and Ceramics Monthly, as I’ve been accepted to write in upcoming publications online and in print!

Ceramics Monthly, American Craft Council, Ceramics Technical magazine, Joel Cherrico Pottery Writing Publications

Lastly, my online store is finally back up and running, with mugs, cups and a few speciality pots, like collaborative pots with renowned painter Paige Dansinger. Paige is moving to a new gallery in Minneapolis! We have plans to perform collaborative art making and show work in her new space.

Painted Pottery, Paige Dansinger, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014  Pottery by Joel Cherrico, 2014

Wheel Thrown Ceramic Sculptures: Drawing Inspiration from the Pottery Wheel and from Nature

Last week I was throwing some dinner plates and I noticed a really cool texture as I was carving clay away from the wheel. The images below show how I start my 12” dinner plates by throwing a wide cylinder. I cut clay away with my wood knife before folding the lip down into a plate. While carving the clay away, I noticed an interesting squiggly coil.  I kept all of these funky clay coils and assembled them into snail sculptures.

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I added a rolled up coil of clay to the backs of these slugs, turning them into snails. I try to use a spiral texture on every piece of my pottery and most of my sculptures.  I like using this texture that occurs so often in nature because it helps relate my clay pieces to the natural world. Clay is harvest from nature, so I like to communicate this in my work. Spirals are found in the natural world as infinite shapes and sizes. Similarly, every one of my pots has qualities that set it apart from the rest. Even when I make plates over and over, no two plates will ever be exactly the same.

These pieces were also inspired by my visit to the Redwood Nation Forrest – totally overrun with Banana Slugs and snails.

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These taller sculptures shown below were also made on the pottery wheel, thrown in separate sections then attached. I want my sculptures to give the illusion that they grew from the ground. They remind me of rainforest mushrooms or plants. I’m having trouble coming up with names for these types of sculptures. Any suggestions?

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