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Cosmic Mugs are a series of handmade pottery mugs with abstract glazes inspired by images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Cosmic Mugs are a series of handmade pottery mugs with abstract glazes inspired by images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Cosmic Mugs are a series of handmade pottery mugs with abstract glazes inspired by images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
508 backers pledged $34,099 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Cosmic Mugs: Art that Lets You Taste the Universe Everyday

$34,099

508

Cosmic Mugs are:

  • Durable: Stoneware pottery is very hard and meant to last a lifetime.
  • Functional: 100% non-toxic, dishwasher and microwave safe.
  • Handcrafted: I make each pot from a lump of Stoneware clay on a pottery wheel. I create consistent shapes that hold roughly a medium cup of coffee, about 14-18 ounces, since every mug is unique.
  • Complex: Every mug is brushed with up to six different glaze colors.
  • Earthen: Raw iron, copper and cobalt are harvested from the earth & fired in a kiln to 2400 degrees F to seal colors with silica glaze for non-toxic, food-safe surfaces. 
  • One of a Kind: Each firing results in glazes that I can never duplicate exactly.
COSMIC MUGS, next to Star Cluster NGC 2074 in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189, www.hubblesite.org
COSMIC MUGS, next to Star Cluster NGC 2074 in the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189, www.hubblesite.org

Why buy a Cosmic Mug?

  • You're helping me build a pottery studio. You're giving me a proper space to create thought provoking artwork inspired by innovation in science and technology. 
  • You're creating jobs. Since graduating from the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University in 2010 as an Art major, I stayed in town to operate a full-time pottery business. Eight student interns have worked with me over the past four years. Your money is letting me mentor them and pay them a fair wage so our team can work together to market and create more pottery. 
  • You save money by getting special Kickstarter pricing on my newest artwork, while investing in my future as a professional artist.

As seen on:

COSMIC MUG in front of to the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189, www.hubblesite.org.
COSMIC MUG in front of to the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189, www.hubblesite.org.
Each pot starts as a lump of Stoneware clay on a pottery kick-wheel.
Each pot starts as a lump of Stoneware clay on a pottery kick-wheel.
Glazes are sealed by firing mugs to 2400 F. in a kiln, creating hard, colorful surfaces.
Glazes are sealed by firing mugs to 2400 F. in a kiln, creating hard, colorful surfaces.
Abstract paintings of cosmic phenomena are locked permanently onto dishwasher-safe coffee mugs.
Abstract paintings of cosmic phenomena are locked permanently onto dishwasher-safe coffee mugs.
Cosmic Mug detail, next to the Galactic Spectacle STScI-2010-25, www.hubblesite.org.
Cosmic Mug detail, next to the Galactic Spectacle STScI-2010-25, www.hubblesite.org.

I believe that handmade pottery enriches people’s lives. The word “cosmic” describes outer space, but the “cosmos” describes what is all around us. Cosmic Mugs remind us that the elements from the stars are the exact same as elements that make up things in our daily lives. I create gorgeous, abstract glazes made from copper, cobalt and iron to reference galaxies and nebulae. I hope to communicate profound ideas about our place in the universe over a cup of coffee.

Each Cosmic Mug is unique and can never be duplicated exactly, but I can create pottery consistently enough to ensure that the mugs hold about a medium cup of coffee. Mugs tend to vary between roughly 14-18 ounces. 

Set of Four Cosmic Pottery Cups
Set of Four Cosmic Pottery Cups
Cosmic Mugs and Brochures
Cosmic Mugs and Brochures
The first Cosmic Vase, a smaller version of the 8-10 inch tall, orb shaped vases I am creating. It is shown in front of the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189, www.hubblesite.org.
The first Cosmic Vase, a smaller version of the 8-10 inch tall, orb shaped vases I am creating. It is shown in front of the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189, www.hubblesite.org.
The first Cosmic Serving Bowl, a slightly smaller version of the 12-14 inch wide bowls I am creating. It is shown in front of the Galactic Spectacle STScI-2010-25, www.hubblesite.org.
The first Cosmic Serving Bowl, a slightly smaller version of the 12-14 inch wide bowls I am creating. It is shown in front of the Galactic Spectacle STScI-2010-25, www.hubblesite.org.
The first Cosmic Platter. This is a smaller version of the 25+ pound wall platters I am creating for the highest reward level.
The first Cosmic Platter. This is a smaller version of the 25+ pound wall platters I am creating for the highest reward level.

I've created numerous dinnerware sets as private commissions and wedding registries. The photos below documented previous color pallets, but I will work with you personally to create a custom dinnerware set in my newest cosmic glazes. You will be provided with a list of serving vessels and will be given the opportunity to choose the best types of pottery for use in your home. Dinnerware pottery is just as functional and durable as the Cosmic Mugs. Two dinnerware sets are available through this Kickstarter in 6 person (60+ piece) and 12 person (120+ piece) pottery tableware settings. You're getting a huge discount off of the retail price, along with many bonus pots included as a thanks for participating in this Kickstarter project.

Risks and challenges

I can consistently create Cosmic Mugs, but I'm making pottery in an old quonset hut with a leaky roof. Your support will let me build a proper pottery studio by fixing the roof, installing a sink, running water, insulation, a heater and buying a larger kiln. That way, I won't have to worry about my glaze buckets freezing into ice blocks every winter in frigid Minnesnowta.

I've also mentored eight student interns over the past four years, but never been able to pay them more than a small stipend and a big box of pots. Your support will let me pay them a reasonable wage.

Copyright for Hubble Space Telescope Images of the NGC 2074 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Galactic Spectacle STScI-2010-25 and the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189: Space Telescope Science Institute, www.hubblesite.org

Copyright for content and photography: Cherrico Pottery, LLC 2015. Photographers include Jillian Birkholz, Marissa Deml and Megan McKeehan.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    POTTERY BROCHURE + THANK YOU! Great for anyone who just wants to support this project, while learning more about how these mugs are made. I will mail you a brochure with high resolution images of my pottery, process shots, an artist statement and my handwritten, artist signature. You will also receive a thank you email and updates on future pottery.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SET OF FOUR COSMIC CUPS with nationwide packing and shipping costs included. These 1-2 ounce, liquor shot cups are also great for holding toothpicks, small jewelry or any tiny keepsakes the cosmos has to offer. Because these tiny cups are so much smaller, faster and easier to create than Cosmic Mugs, even more of you can now get a great deal on a set of cosmic pottery.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: SET OF FOUR COSMIC CUPS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, with nationwide packing and shipping costs included. These 1-2 ounce, liquor shot cups are also great for holding toothpicks, small jewelry or any tiny keepsakes the cosmos has to offer. Because these tiny cups are so much smaller, faster and easier to create than Cosmic Mugs, even more of you can now get a great deal on a set of cosmic pottery.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: ONE COSMIC MUG BEFORE CHRISTMAS, one pottery brochure and free shipping nationwide. I've sold these mugs for over $100 each, so you’re getting a truly amazing deal on my newest artwork.

    Future Retail Price: $85 + $15 Shipping and Handling

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    NEW EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: ONE Cosmic Mug BEFORE Christmas, one pottery brochure and free shipping nationwide. I've sold these mugs for over $100 each, so you’re getting a truly amazing deal on my newest artwork.

    Future Retail Price: $85 + $15 Shipping and Handling

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    ONE COSMIC MUG + SET OF FOUR COSMIC CUPS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, with five pottery brochures and nationwide packing and shipping costs included. I've sold individual Cosmic Mugs for over $100 each, so at five pieces of pottery for $69, you’re getting a truly amazing deal on a set of my newest cosmic pottery.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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    Pledge $98 or more About $98

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: TWO COSMIC MUGS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, two pottery brochures and free shipping nationwide. I've sold these mugs for over $100 each, so you’re getting a truly amazing deal on a pair of my newest Cosmic Mugs.

    Future Retail Price: $200 ($85 + $15 shipping and handling each)

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $98 or more About $98

    Special Kickstarter Price!

    TWO COSMIC MUGS, two pottery brochures, free shipping nationwide and arrival soon after the Holiday season. I've sold these mugs for over $100 each, so you’re getting a truly amazing deal on a pair of my newest Cosmic Mugs.

    Future Retail Price: $200 ($85 + $15 shipping and handling each)

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    Pledge $190 or more About $190

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: FOUR COSMIC MUGS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, four pottery brochures and free shipping nationwide. I've sold these mugs for over $100 each, so you’re getting a truly amazing deal on a set of my newest Cosmic Mugs.

    Future Retail Price: $400 ($85 + $15 shipping and handling each)

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $190 or more About $190

    Set of FOUR COSMIC MUGS, four pottery brochures, free shipping nationwide and arrival soon after the Holiday season. I've sold these mugs for over $100 each, so you’re getting a truly amazing deal on a set of my newest Cosmic Mugs.

    Future Retail Price: $400 ($85 + $15 shipping and handling each)

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    ONE COSMIC SERVING BOWL, one pottery brochure, free shipping nationwide and arrival soon after the Holidays. These bowls measure 12-14 inches wide and about 6-8 inches high, perfect for a table centerpiece.

    Future Retail Price: TBD...LIMITED EDITION

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    ONE COSMIC VASE, one pottery brochure, free shipping nationwide and arrival soon after the Holidays. These vases measure 8-10 inches high, perfect for a table centerpiece.

    Future Retail Price: TBD...LIMITED EDITION

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    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    ONE COSMIC WALL PLATTER, pottery brochure, personalized "thank you" letter and nationwide shipping costs included. These huge, spiral platters measure about 18 inches across and weigh at least 25 pounds. I think of them as sculptural paintings. I want the glazes to feel like abstractions of real galaxies and nebulae out in space. By purchasing one of these platters, you are investing in my future as a professional artist, as these unique, rare pieces appreciate over time.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    COSMIC DINNERWARE: 6 PERSON PLACE SETTING. This dinnerware set includes over 60 pieces of pottery in my newest cosmic glaze colors: various sizes of plates, bowls, cups, mugs, serving bowls, a pitcher, butter dish, gravy boat, casserole bakers and more! I will work with you personally to customize the set to your liking. Domestic shipping and delivery costs are included. The retail price of this set is $8,314 before taxes. You're getting a huge discount off of the retail price, along with many bonus pots included as a thanks for participating in this Kickstarter project.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $8,500 or more About $8,500

    COSMIC DINNERWARE: 12 PERSON PLACE SETTING. This dinnerware set includes over 120 pieces of pottery in my newest cosmic glaze colors: various sizes of plates, bowls, cups, mugs, serving bowls, pitchers, a butter dish, gravy boats, casserole bakers and more! I will work with you personally to customize the set to your liking. Domestic shipping and delivery costs are included. The retail price of this set is $16,128 before taxes. You're getting a huge discount off of the retail price, along with many bonus pots included as a thanks for participating in this Kickstarter project.

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Funding period

- (31 days)