Face-jugs!


UPCOMING SHOWS:

Emerging Clay at BLUE SPIRAL 1 in Asheville, NC

Contemporary Facejugs at Artspace Upstairs in Tryon, NC






Politics, Satire, and the Appalachian Vernacular

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.



Cop jug
stoneware, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
10 H x 10 W x 8 in. D


Hobo jug
stoneware, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
13 H x 6.5 W x 9.5 in. D


Tranny jug
stoneware, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, high-temperature wire (in the cigarette)
13.5 H x 9 W x 10 in. D


Uncle Sam jug
stoneware, porcelain, oxide, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
16.5 H x 10 W x 10 in. D



Big Buddha jug
stoneware, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
13 H x 7.5 W x 9 in. D

Skull jug (large)
stoneware, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
13 H x 5.5 W x 9 in. D


Soldier Boy jug
stoneware, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
15 H x 8 W x 9.5 in. D


Green jug

stoneware, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
12.5 H x 5.6 W 7 in. D


Faces-jug 2
stoneware, porcelain, underglaze, glaze, residual salt-fired
12 H x 7 W x 10 in. D




2 comments:

clay tiles said...

These are really wonderful!! I love how the acrylic paint gives it a glazed look.Amazing!!

Alex Irvine said...

Thanks, just to clarify, these are decorated with underglaze and residual salt-fired, not with acrylic paint.