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Face Jugs

The use of pottery jugs can be traced back beyond the Roman Empire. In a region like ours, where histories are often oral, tracing the origins of our traditions is tricky. Face jugs are one of the traditions that are an amalgam of many cultural influences. Amongst that rich history is the port of Charleston; the African tradition of using jug pots as headstones was brought to our culture through this port. Highly prized red glaze recipes from China also made their way to our region from the Charleston port. And even from the pubs of England came a long history and influence through their ever-charming Toby mugs.

Face jugs combine the utilitarian influences of early regional pottery with the unique imagination of individual pottery makers. In the mountains of Georgia, and the Catawba Valley, North Carolina, ugly faces, snakes and devils were added to Market Jugs beginning in the late 1800's. These embellished pots were used to buy & store liquor; the ominous features would scare children so they would not be tempted to try the contents.




A.V. Smith has been making pottery for 40 years. He started turning pots in a friend's basement at the age of 16, and realized soon enough that pottery would be his life's work. After graduating from Wingate College's (North Carolina) pottery program, he went straight to work, first at Pinehurst Pottery, then in a studio/shop he shared with Catawba Valley potter Charlie Lisk in Pinehurst.

Charlie Brown comes from seven generations of potters. He runs the Brown Pottery in Arden, NC, which was established in 1923. The Browns have been making face jugs longer than any other potter in the South, according to a publication of the Southern Folk Pottery Collectors Society. Charlie makes face jugs and buggy jugs and is starting to produce swirl jugs. He says he likes making face jugs: "each face is different and interesting to do and I try for a certain look- mean, stupid or whatever." The Browns use clay dug around Arden and turn functional items as well as face jugs. They use alkaline glazes and a fire in both wood- burning and electrical kilns.

MARVIN Bailey first fell in love with pottery while growing up in South Carolina, as his father had an extensive collection. Marvin is a self-taught potter carrying on the traditions of Southern Folk Pottery while also exploring new ideas and also creating imaginative one-of-a-kind pieces. The regional clays and the kiln he fires in keep alive many of the techniques first explored in the famous Edgefield, SC potteries. He built his first pottery workshop in 1994 never having put his hands in clay. He quickly purchased a potter's wheel and kiln and started working. As Marvin says, "trial and error are my only teachers."
Mr. Bailey has developed quite a following for his pottery and artwork. Marvin's wife, Lynn, adds touches of her own to some of Marvin's pottery; they have built a beautiful life as well as a fine business together.
Marvin travels to antique and Americana shows to share his work and the different regionalisms both in subject matter and process. As anyone who has met him will tell you, he could not be a nicer, gentler person, a wonderful ambassador for our incredible living history of pottery here in the southeast.

MICHAEL Ball lives and works in Western North Carolina, home to rich traditions in the making of pottery. Many potters including Mike, are still hand digging their clay and wood firing in groundhog kilns, just as potters did in the 19th century. Mike learned his trade both from Kim Ellington and Charlie Lisk who in turn learned directly from local master Burlon Craig, the last potter experienced in the earliest traditions of the region. Mikes face jugs are expressive, each one unique in its facial features and fanciful flair. Following local tradition, he incorporates beautiful glass drips and uses broken plates for teeth. Mike also creates an assortment of utilitarian ware.

FRED Johnston is a master potter with degrees from both Alfred University & Penn State. His credentials include public art commissions, esteemed Smithsonian exhibitions & nationally recognized collections.
Fred learned to make pots in the Seagrove area in the 1980s where he worked odd jobs around the different studios, including Mark Hewitt, Ben Owen and Dover Pottery. This experience was the catalyst for Fred's commitment and passion to the pottery vernacular, which turned into an adventure and education.
Growing up in the rural south gave him access to its colorful history & characters and served as inspiration for his work. His intellectual curiosity has lead him to draw on a broad base of pottery traditions from around the globe & throughout time, such as Greek, Korean, Chinese, Pre-Columbian and European. It is this amalgam of his curious nature & creative powers that draws us to his pottery.

STACY Lambert studied graphic design and was intrigued by the graphic works of M.C. Escher and the surrealistic works of Salvador Dali. He studied the art of pottery under the guidance of Seagrove potter, Sid Luck. Like any smart apprentice, he learned the technical aspects of firing and glazing from the master, then as the years went by, he added his own unique talents of painting and graphics to his original creations. His rich color pallet and his three-dimensional interpretations of people and animals are as much fun as a potter ought to have. Collectors are having nearly as much fun collecting everything he produces as Stacy is producing it. If you see piece of his art that speaks to you, make plans to take it home quickly before it speaks to someone else, because it will. Since the work is all handpainted and sculpted by Stacy the number of pieces he produces is quite low, thus making his work even more desirable to the serious collector of rare pieces.

WALTER Fleming, a Presbyterian minister by day, has always been interested in rural tasks and early American craftsmanship. In the seventies Walter began making white oak baskets as a hobby. Later he became intrigued with the process of making pottery. After he had created several pieces, he intentionally went to meet Burlon Craig, the well-known potter from the Catawba Valley and asked Craig to critique his work. Burlon later introduced him to another skilled potter by the name of Charlie Lisk. Over the years, Walter found his relationship with these two folk potters to be invaluable.

WAYNE Hewell is a 5th generation potter, and farmer in the mountains of Georgia. He is part of the Hewell family of Georgia, potters for more than a hundred years. The patriarch of this family was Eli D Hewell, who established the pottery in 1890. His aunt is Marie Rodgers-the first woman folk potter to independently operate entirely on her own. Waynes lineage has undoubtedly influenced him. He uses wild clay from Georgia, fires in a wood-fired kiln, and uses Tobacco Spit or Alkaline glazes to create the greenish, runny surfaces on the jugs. Wayne often incorporates humor into the faces by adding grimaces, points to the ears, cigars, etc. Wayne is also known for his swirl ware, a process of combining two different clay bodies which result in an amazing striped effect.






Michael Ball, Sweet Devil

Wild NC Clays, Gas fired, copious amounts of imagination.

size:  6 3/4" tall
$ 135.- (BALL258)

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Walter Fleming, Sweet Old Timey Pitcher

Gas-Fired, Native Clay, Stoneware

size:  8 1/4" tall
$ 70.- (flem109)

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Wayne Hewell, Stout Turkey

Wood-Fired Stoneware with Georgia Clay

size:  11 5/8" tall
$ 235.- [WH136]

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Walter Fleming, Snake Handle Jug

Gas-Fired, Native Clay, Stoneware

size:  12 1/2" tall
$ 110.- (flem111)

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Stacy Lambert, Buried Treasure

Hand-painted clay electric fired,story on back

size:  7 1/2" tall
$ 150.- (sl144)

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Michael Ball, Blue Eyed Eyeball Jug

Wild NC Clays, Gas fired, copious amounts of imagination.

size:  6 3/4" tall
$ 135.- (BALL257)

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Wayne Hewell, Mini Face Jugs

Wood-Fired, Georgia wild clay

size:  Approximately 2" tall
$ 38.- each (WH138)--bottom left has sold, blue man has sold, too.

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Michael Ball, Large Blue Eyes

Wild NC Clays, Gas fired, copious amounts of imagination.

size:  17 3/4" tall
$ 525.- (BALL253)

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Michael Ball, Globey

Wild NC Clays, Gas fired, copious amounts of imagination.

size:  12 3/4" tall
$ 400.- (BALL255)

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Walter Fleming, Large Irridescent Man

Gas-Fired, Native Clay, Stoneware

size:  19" tall
$ 450.- (flem120)

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Wayne Hewell, Staring into Space

Wood-Fired, Georgia wild clay

size:  8 1/2" tall
$ 175.- (WH152)

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Michael Ball, Loop Dee Loop

Wild NC Clays, Gas fired, copious amounts of imagination.

size:  13" tall 13 inces across, too.
$ 900.- (BALL243)

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Stacy Lambert, Turtle Neck

Hand-painted clay electric fired,story on back

size:  7 1/2" tall
$ 150.- (sl147)

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Fred Johnston "Fred Corn", Red Flint Stones

Hand-dug clay, Electric-fired, Flint Stone teeth, Chrome glaze

size:  11 1/4" tall
$ 525.- [FJP49]

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Wayne Hewell, Pointed Fella

Wood-Fired, Georgia wild clay

size:  9 1/4" tall
$ 175.- (WH150)

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Wayne Hewell, Stripey's Brother

Wood-Fired, Georgia wild clay

size:  6" tall
$ 90.- (WH141)

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A V Smith, Happy To Meet You

Wood-Fired, Clays Hand-Dug on His Farm

size:  9 3/4" tall
$ 190.- (AS267)

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Michael Ball, Scratch Man

Wild NC Clays, Gas fired, copious amounts of imagination.

size:  14" tall
$ 450.- (BALL254)

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