Mugglies - WarrentonHighSchoolCeramicStudios

Inspired by Face Jugs or Ugly Jugs
An African American Folk Art Tradition
History of Ugly Face Jugs
• Between 1810 and 1865, an abundance of functional pottery was produced in the
remote Edgefield Potteries in South Carolina and sold to neighboring counties and
states. Edgefield Potteries was worked in part by artisan slaves who turned the pots,
pushed the wheels, carried the pottery and loaded the kilns. In their free time, some
of the artisans made pottery of their own choice. Many of them chose to make jugs
and pots now known as Face Vessels. These were often stoneware jugs modeled in
the shape of human faces. They were most often alkaline glazed stoneware in simple,
earthy tones.
• Though there are many gaps in historical data regarding the making, use and meaning
of the face vessel pottery, there is no doubt that the vessels were original, functional
artistic expressions of the African slave culture of the time. This all adds to the
mystery of possible deeper meaning of the Face Vessels in the slave culture. Few of
the skilled potters who made Face Vessels have been identified by name and their
inspiration for making face vessels is really unknown. Researchers speculate that the
vessels may have had religious or burial significance, or that they reflect the complex
responses of people attempting to live and maintain their personal identities under
cruel and often difficult conditions. Face Vessels have been found along the routes of
the Underground Railroad and on gravesites, both indicating how highly they were
valued and how closely connected they were with the enslaved African American’s
own culture. Text taken from:
Original Face Jugs
• OBJECT NAME: Face Vessels
MATERIAL: Alkaline-glazed
MAKER: Attributed to Black
Slave Potters
District, South Carolina
Mid-19th Century
DIMENSIONS: 5" High X 3"
Modern Ugly Jugs
• Use slab construction to build the
main form of the ceramic cup.
Include a handle and a base.
• Use additive techniques to develop
the facial features of your ugly mug.
• Create features that purposely out
of proportion and grotesque.
• Create an expression!!
• Develop a relief surface, features
should project off of the surface of
the cup!!
• Create a muggly inspired by original
face jugs.
• Create three different sketches of muggly possibilities, remember expression and
exaggeration of facial features.
• Roll out a slab using a rolling pen and two slab sticks that are the same thickness.
• Measure and cut your slab so that it is no taller than 6”. The length of the slab should be
long enough to wrap around the diameter of a pool noodle.
• Get a pool noodle, wrap it with newspaper or newsprint. Tape the newspaper around
the pool noodle. This will be the form that you use to create your cup cylinder.
• Carefully take your slab and wrap it around the pool noodle. Bevel the edges of your
slab at forty five degree angles so that the edges of your slab fit together well. Slip and
score together.
• Create a bottom to your cup by rolling out another slab, about ½” thick. Score the
bottom of your cylinder. Place the cylinder on the slab that you formed. Cut around the
bottom of the cylinder to make the form of your base. Score the top of your circular
slab around the edges then apply slip and join your base to your cylinder.
Process continued…..
• Begin developing your facial features to add to your cup. Remember to
hollow out any features that are much larger than the thickness of your
thumb. Build up the surface of your cup to create an interesting
muggly!! Exaggerate facial features to make them more pronounced.
• Begin using various tools, or additive techniques to add interest to your
• Add a handle to the back or side of your mug. You should be able to pull
a handle or form a handle similar to the way that you created handles
for your vessel.
• Allow cup to dry (remember, drying time is at least seven days before
firing!!!!) Place it on the drying cabinet.
• Once cup is fired glaze it. Using a paint brush apply at least three, up to
five, coats of glaze evenly on the surface of your cup.
• Place your cup on the wares cart for final glaze fire.
• Complete your Muggly reflection. Turn your sketches in with your
reflection. Use your scoring guide to self-assess your project. Turn your
scoring guide, reflection, sketches, and project in together.
Mouths open and teeth
showing, Very EXPRESSIVE!!
Enlarged Features: Mugs by
Josh Booke
Zombie/ skeleton cups by
Micah Edge
Frank Sullivan Mugs
Exaggeration of Facial Features
Unique forms, with supernatural or
animal characteristics
Student Examples
Mugglies: Slab Cups
Cup holds liquid and has
a handle.
Cup holds liquid but
does not have a handle.
Cup does not hold liquid
And has no handle.
Cup is incomplete.
Facial features are
expressive. Wow your
mug’s serious!!
Facial features of the
ugly mug protrude off of
the surface of the mug.
Facial features are very
creative. Extremely
detailed an intricate.
Used slab construction,
thickness of the slab for
the form of the cup is
consistent. Features are
joined together well.
Crumbs are cleaned off
surface. Glaze is applied
Uses the entire period
to work on artwork puts
forth the best effort,
follow all directions, and
shows positive attitude.
Facial features have
some expression
Facial features were
applied with little
thought to expression.
Facial features slightly
come off the surface.
Most features are level
with each other little
change in relief.
Cup is incomplete.
Cup needs more
attention. Many weak
areas are visible in the
glaze. Many crumbs
remain on cup. Most
features added to the
cup are not blended
Uses some of the class
period to work on
artwork, puts forth
some effort, follows
Cup is put together roughly
needs attention. Crumbs
are all over the surface.
Parts are falling off of the
surface of the cup. Cup is
Work ethic and
Facial features are
interesting. They vary in
size and project off of
the surface of the mug.
Good craftsmanship.
Glazes are applied
evenly with few weak
areas. Inside seem is not
joined together well.
The joints of some
features need more
Uses most of the class
period to work on
artwork, puts forth
some effort, Follows
directions and is
typically on task
Facial features are very flat
or are drawn into the
surface of the mug. Little to
no relief visible.
Cup is incomplete.
Does not use class time
effectively; no effort does
not follow directions.
Needs to work on attitude
in class. Project