Press release from American Folk Art & Framing:
The human face is capable of displaying an astonishing array of emotions. Curiosity is what many of the uninitiated express when first seeing a southern face jug, a tradition that has many beginnings. The upstate of South Carolina and the mountain regions of North Carolina and Georgia contribute to a rich continuum of techniques that have been handed down generation after generation when it comes to the creation of pottery. This is particularly true of face jugs, which have been used since the early 1800s to hold moonshine. The scary and ominous faces, featuring broken porcelain plates as jagged teeth and sometimes adorned with snakes, were meant to frighten children and thus keep them from drinking the moonshine.
The potters whose work will be featured in American Folk’s Annual Face Jug Show are ‘legacy’ potters, folks whose families have been making pots for as many as seven generations. Others came to the genre out of fascination, looking to honor the tradition but shake things up a bit, too. One of the potters featured in the exhibition, Michael Gates, is both a multi-generation potter and someone who is looking to put his own stamp on the tradition. His ancestors, the Reinhardts, were some of the first commercial potters in The Catawba Valley region of North Carolina. The family began potting in the early 1800s and today Michael still digs many of his clays from the same pits his great-great-great-grandfather once used.
Stacy Lambert is another fascinating potter who was raised in Seagrove, NC, often referred to as Jugtown. He was raised around the pots, but it wasn’t until after college, where he studied graphic design and contemporary art, that his interest in making pottery flourished. His jugs incorporate faces, but in an entirely creative and new way. Delicately-painted illustrations adorn the faces with narratives painted on the back of the heads, which tell the stories of Stacy’s dreams and inspirations.
American Folk Art & Framing’s 7th Annual Face Jug Show will feature regionally renowned potters: Wayne Hewell of Georgia; Stacy Lambert of Eastern North Carolina; Walter Fleming, Kim Ellington, Michael Gates, Mike Ball, Steve Abee, and Michel Bayne of North Carolina’s Catawba Valley; Marvin Bailey of South Carolina; and The Browns Pottery of Western North Carolina. There are also always a few surprise potters included to add to the excitement.
American Folk will preview the show at WWW.AMERIFOLK.COM at 11 am on Tuesday, April 2nd.
The show will open in the gallery at 64 Biltmore Ave, downtown, at 10 am on Thursday, April 4th.
A reception will be held in the gallery from 5 – 8 pm on Friday, April 5th, 2019.