Face-jugs are packed with untapped potential. This dawned on me after moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina for a residency at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts. It was during this time I began to assist folk potter, Michel Bayne in his South Carolina studio. Having a penchant for modeling faces in clay, the transition to face jugs came naturally to me. In this series I allowed my mind to wander. After completing the series and assembling this subconscious cast of characters I became aware of unusual juxtapositions. The Hobo jug next to the Tranny jug suggests two forms of poverty, urban and rural. While each head is a sculpture in itself, placing any one in the context of another multiplies the meanings. Like many old time jugs, most of the series is salt-fired.
Throughout the world face-jug traditions abound, but in Appalachia “ugly-jugs” were used for storing grandpa’s moonshine, and that just strikes me as the perfect canvas for contemplating politics.