Thursday, March 27, 2014

Face Jugs

Face jugs. What is a face jug? Well, simply put, it is a jug with a face on it.

Lanier Meadors

One theory suggests that these early face jugs were used as grave markers by slaves. These jugs were supposed to ward off evil spirits. A South Carolina potter, who can trace his ancestors to slavery, states that "the idea was that the face jug would be ugly enough to scare the devil away from your grave so your soul could go to heaven."

In the 1820's the practice of making face jugs spread throughout South Carolina and into Georgia, North Carolina and other states. In the 1830's about seventy folk potters operated pottery shops within a four mile area of Mossy Creek in White County, Georgia.  This became one of the largest pottery communities in the South. Click here for more history.


In North Carolina there is a strong folk potter presence and some of today’s most famous potters include Burlon Craig, whose large face jugs can go as high as $3000+ and others, Steve Abee, Charles Lisk, Kim Ellington.

Recently we were visiting the Catawba Valley of North Carolina and in the town of Lincolnton, they have added along their main street, the most delightful collection of face jugs.





Aren't they just wonderful? 

I have a small collection. They are in my kitchen where I can look up and see their fun faces.


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