The “ugly jug,” my sister, and California

The day the Little Write Gal told me she was making an “ugly jug” in art class, I had to look it up online because I wasn’t exactly sure what it was.  I found this definition on UNC-TV’s Web site for its series “Folk Ways” which chronicles styles of pottery:

Also called “face vessels,” “ugly jug,” or “voodoo jug,” these amusing pots probably originated some time after the beginning of the twentieth century. Produced most commonly in the Catawba Valley, face jugs are usually characterized by their ears, prominent mustaches and toothy grins. To produce a face jug, potters first turn the piece, then let it dry for a few hours. Then the potter adds at least thirteen pieces of clay to create the face, and optional features such as a mustache, beard or horns can increase this amount. Teeth are created from jagged pieces of commercial whitewares.

Earlier history of the art indicated that these pots were used to contain poisons and were made ugly to  keep children away. 

Each day The Little Write Gal would tell me the progress she was making on the ugly jug until finally I got to see it in person.  The day she brought it home was a special day for us because after school we were going to my sister’s house for what would be one of the last times before she moved to California.  Now if you have ever met my daughter the one thing you would know is that she is absolutely crazy over her “Aunt Ashley.”  She decided to give the ugly jug to her as a going away present.  My sister who I also adore, very lovingly packed up her new gift and sent me this picture of how it is displayed in her new home now 3,000 miles away. 

The Little Write Gal and I actually got to see it in person last week when we visited.  I will try to post more about our trip soon.

So if you live close to your sister please give her a hug from me.  I can’t wait until the next time I can hug mine in person.

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1 Response to “The “ugly jug,” my sister, and California”


  1. 1 Aunt Ashley August 12, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    awwww…The UGLY jug was one of the first things that was unpacked : ) I love it! Had soooo much fun w/ you and Holly. Miss you guys a whole bunch.


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