Cherrico Pottery has been supporting StarTalk Radio on Patreon for years, to draw more inspiration from the cosmos, and then filter it into art. This past January, Joel and Sienna were given an amazing opportunity: take the perfect business trip to The Big Apple (StarTalk’s headquarters in New York City) to meet Dr. Tyson and the StarTalk Radio Team.
“One year from today, my goal is to break ground on a new pottery studio that supports future pottery production with 100% solar fired pottery.”
I failed. I still live in the same tiny apartment that I lived in while writing “A Potter’s Journey” years ago, and I work in the same dirty, old studio. The pottery is fired with 100% of whatever fuel is generated by the electric company.
Most of the World Record Pottery Planters have been given away, purchased by people globally and opened remarkable new doors to new fans and celebrities alike. It almost didn’t happen, because I threw my back out practicing, which can be a serious problem for potters. Pushing through that failure led to achieving the ridiculous goal of actually braking the record- on a kick-wheel, for the first time in history!
“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.”
This doesn’t mean you should let your ego run wild, trying to be better than everyone. It means that audacious goals will bring you to EPIC new heights, even if it’s not the heights you expected. You, and everyone around you, will achieve what you never thought was possible.
I might live in a tiny apartment, with the same dirty, old studio, but that apartment is shared with the love of my life. We’ve already drawn a floor plan for the studio we hope to build together and we’re saving money. We’re also setting more audacious goals and feeding inspiration into our artistic careers, like this trip to NYC to meet Neil deGrasse Tyson at the StarTalk RadioPatreon Party….
…or our annual trip to the Rocky Mountains to escape the madness of modern life for a short time, to relax in the vast mountainous landscape.
Dream Big, Start Small
Even little actions, like this technique I developed to reduce cracking in my “hump thrown” pottery, can have profound long-term effects. I use this technique every time I throw pottery, and millions of people have been captivated by it.
Cherrico Pottery has long been fans of Dr. Tyson’s work, specifically because he sees the value in art. He says artistic expression and scientific discovery cultivate the same emotions. It’s both a scientist’s and artist’s job to communicate the awe, splendor, and the beauty of the world around us. Dr. Tyson says that one large difference between art and science is that if a scientist doesn’t discover something in the universe, someone else will. Art, on the other hand, is something different:
Our friends at StarTalk created a video with a few reasons for why it’s important to continue art education. Dr. Tyson is an expert in the sciences, but he understands that in order to succeed and grow in scientific knowledge, you must have certain skills that aren’t always taught in science classes.
One of these skills that overlap between art and science is creativity. Dr. Tyson points out in this video that the human mind is capable of both precision and creativity. The best scientists are creative and the best artists bring some rationality and order into their artwork. What makes Joel’s Cosmic Mugs so spectacular is because he has integrated both creativity and order into each mug. The cosmic glaze on each mug is not meant to depict the cosmos, but instead, express it.
When Dr. Tyson speaks about the topic of art and science, there’s a good chance he brings up Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting, Starry Night. He often says that it’s the first painting that didn’t reflect reality, but instead emotion. He says that art and science are the two of the few things we create that will last past our lifetime.
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:
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.
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!
“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, quoted in “The Daily Stoic”
The Ceramic process is almost like magic. Clay, water and earth elements change through fire to create gorgeous coffee mugs.
“As cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson has explained, the cosmos fills us with complicated emotions. On the one hand, we feel an infinitesimal smallness in comparison to the vast universe; on the other, an extreme connectedness to this larger whole.” – Ryan Holiday, quoted in “The Daily Stoic”
Have you ever wondered why I call them “Cosmic Mugs” (cosmicmugs.com) instead of “galaxy” or “nebula” or “stellar” mugs? Art is complicated, and “cosmic” seems like a better word to convey all the complexities inherent to pottery vs. factory made mugs.
If you’re wrestling with ideas in your own art or struggles in your own life, you might benefit from stoic ideas too. This giveaway that my friends at The Daily Stoic are hosting is a great way to get introduced:
Stoicism sounds boring, but the benefits in my life and pottery career have been remarkable. This giveaway has a bunch of amazing “stoic” items and it’s a great way to get your feet wet in how these ideas might be able to help you:
No, I’m not getting paid to say this, I’m just a huge fan and have seen remarkable benefits in my own life and business. If you are struggling with anything, then I just thought you might benefit stoicism too. Here is what I find most useful and valuable:
What resources or tools help you get through tough times in your life?
Leave a comment below before Monday 8/28/2017 telling us what resources or tools have helped you get through tough times in your life. We’ll pick the best comment and send the winner one World Record Pottery Planter, ($179 value: $159 + 20 average packing and shipping) shipped almost anywhere globally, totally free!
To enter, you must leave one, genuine comment, or the moderator will not approve your comment or 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 up to 48 hours for your comment to appear. You must also be on our email newsletter distribution list to qualify, so please make sure you are okay with receiving our email newsletter before you leave a comment. We will pick winners before the following Wednesday around 2pm Central and you will receive the pottery shipped to you nearly anywhere globally, totally free.