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Face Jugs Research

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When visiting the McKissick Museum I was engrossed by the American Folk Art, ceramic Face Jugs, also known as ugly or grotesque jugs. There are gaps in the history in regards to how the face jugs were made, what they were used for, and the meaning of the face vessel pottery. However it is believed that these vessels were original, useful, creative expressions of the African slave culture of the time created as early as the seventeenth century. Few artists of face jugs have been identified and their inspirations for producing the vessels are not completely known. According to Hirst, it is believed that this art form originated in Edgefield County South Carolina, from African slaves who worked on the plantations as potters. They worked on these jugs after work and it’s believed that they were a product of the heritage and tradition from Africa and held a spiritual connection for the potters. Hirst also stated that, Dave Drake, a slave and employee of a pottery factory is the only known producer to ever be allowed to sign and put the date of manufacture on some of his face jug work.
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