Monday, August 08, 2011

"Let me see the ugliest face that you can make!" I said.... the three 7 and 8 year old boys who were attending my children's summer pottery class.

I watched as they contorted their faces....stuck their fingers in their noses.....crossed their eyes and stuck out their tongues.  One of the boys could actually make one eye look up while the other looked down. (Ew)

I then began to tell them the story of folk art pottery ugly face jugs.

These jugs first started appearing in the United States around the late 1700's....mostly in the Southern states.

There are a variety of stories about the origins of these jugs and what the ugly face was to signify.  They were thought to have been used by slaves to fend off evil spirits and could even be found as grave markers.

Later on, these jugs were used to keep children away from the moonshine that was stored in them.  It was hoped that the scary face would dissuade them from taking a sip of the contents.

So, they got started making coils that wrapped around and around to form the jug.  Then they had to smooth the coils so that they blended together to make an even surface.This is a slow process, but the boys were surprisingly patient.  Once the jug was formed to their satisfaction, they began to stick on the facial features....

Here are their final products prior to painting and firing:
(Interesting, eh?)

Mine actually came out looking more like......


: )


Granny Annie said...

Sorry, but the boys beat you by a mile!

Susan Adcox said...

Love the stories behind the "ugly mugs." How cool for you to share your knowledge with kids!