The tradition is that because slaves weren’t allowed to have grave markers, the family would place personal items and an ugly face jug on the grave. This was a way to show reverence and also was supposed to scare evil spirits away from the area. The jugs were made by African potters who were first taken to the Caribbean islands, and then brought to the American south. There is no written history of the origin or use of ugly face jugs. The stories have been handed down from generation to generation.
Inspired by this tradition, Grade 8 students were introduced to the use of clay in order to make and decorate a pinch pot. The aim was to add all the facial features on the pinch pot using clay techniques appropriately and skillfully. In order to give it the earthy effect that original clay has, students were also required to colour their jugs using a minimum of 4 different types of brown.
Ms Konstantina Kapanidou – Art Teacher
Pictures of original Ugly Face Jugs